SS Cup Tournament honours Sasakamoose

Canterbury won the Men’s Division in the Starr Sasakamoose SS Cup Hockey Tournament. Front row, left-right, are Travis Chalifoux, Wyatt Noskey, Dallas Supernault, Michael Letendre, Tristen Auger and Blake Anderson. Middle row, left-right, are Darren Noskey, Isaiah Letendre and Keygon Okemow. Back row, left-right, are Darren Reid, Larry Yellowknee, Hector Lamouche, Jay Anderson, Tanner Reynolds, coach Chris Noskey, Robbie Lemay, Theo Laderoute and Harlan Noskey.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Hockey teams from parts of northwestern Alberta played in the inaugural Starr Sasakamoose SS Cup Hockey Tournament in High Prairie from April 12-14.

The family initiated and organized the tournament to fulfill a dream Sasakamoose had before he suddenly passed away April 10, 2023 at 43 years of age – to host an annual hockey tournament in High Prairie.

He was a member of Driftpile Cree Nation and was a councillor at the time of his death.

His sister, Kristal Sasakamoose, co-ordinated the tournament.

His daughter, Jordyn Sasakamoose, says the event was meaningful for the family and carried the heart of her father.

“The tournament was held as a memorial for my dad,” Sasakamoose says.

“He had the dream of hosting a tournament and was trying to make the arrangements to do so before he passed away.

“With the Treaty 8 Cup tournament moving Slave Lake, he wanted to keep a hockey tournament in our community.”

She says the Treaty 8 Cup tournament was a big part of High Prairie and her father wanted a tournament in the community and include everyone.

His vision was to have the new tournament become an annual event.

“My dad, Starr, was always about helping and including everyone,” Sasakamoose says.

“He was a very community-oriented man.”

The family intends to continue the tournament.

“We plan to host this tournament for as long as we can,” Sasaka- moose says.

The tournament was a 100 per cent payout non-profit event, she notes. He hosted many big events such as the Driftpile Quad Rally.

“He always made sure we gave back to the community and others in need,” Saskamoose says.

She is the founder of the Starr Sasakamoose Foundation.

“I am just waiting for this organization to be recognized as a charity,” Sasakamoose says.

“This is the organization that will host these events in the future.”

Driftpile Chief Dwayne Laboucan lauded those involved in the event.

“Starr would be proud of this tournament,” Laboucan said before the awards were presented for the Men’s Division.

“We are here to honour him and help to reach a dream of his,” he said during the opening ceremonies.

The tournament featured a total of 16 teams – eight in the Men’s Division, four in the Legends Division and four in the Ladies’ Division.

All three finals were thrilling and competitive as games were two periods with 25 minutes run time except for the second period when the last five minutes was stopped time.

Canterbury, a team of players from the High Prairie area, won the Men’s Division when they beat the Peavine Rangers 3-2 in overtime. The winning goal came with 1:19 into overtime played with three-on-three skaters.

Back Lakes Legends, of Gift Lake and Whitefish Lake, won the Legends Division when they beat the Sucker Creek Capitals 3-2.

Trey’s Pals, of Peavine, won the Ladies’ Division when they tripled the Sturgeon Lake Chill 3-1 in the final.

Other teams and players came from the High Prairie region, Driftpile, East Prairie, Tallcree and other points in northern Alberta.

Trey’s Pals won the Ladies’ Division in the Starr Sasakamoose SS Cup Hockey Tournament. Front row, left-right, are Chasitty Knibb, Nitraya Gladue, Tammy Gauchier, Callie Noskey and Jackie Gauchier. Back row, left-right, are Kota Badger, Kelly Cunningham, Kirsten Noskey, Chelsea Gauchier, Kaylen Noskey, Sydney Harms, Makayla Laboucan, Olivia Davies-Cunningham and coach Trey Cunningham.
Back Lakes Legends won the Legends Division in the Starr Sasakamoose SS Cup Hockey Tournament. Front row, left-right, are Lee Lamouche, manager Brent Roy, stick boy Ardy Johnston, coach Allan Lamouche, Allan Anderson Jr. and Sanford Lamouche. Back row, left-right, are coach Vern Cunningham, Dylan Cunningham, Harley Nahachick, Sandy Laughlin, Craig Van de Light, Kelly Cunningham, Cory Anderson, James Tallman, Richard (Dude) Anderson, Anthony Cardinal, Ray Supernault, Verny Cunningham Jr., and Ryan Trimble. Missing in the photo are Burton Auger and Ben L’Hirondelle.
Most Valuable Player in the Men’s Division, Isaiah Letendre, left, of Canterbury, accepts the award from Jordyn Sasakamoose, daughter of Starr Sasakamoose.
Most Valuable Player in the Legends Division, Allan Anderson Jr., right, of the Back Lakes Legends, accepts the award from Jordyn Sasakamoose, daughter of Starr Sasakamoose.
Most Valuable Player in the Ladies’ Division, Kota Badger, left, of Trey’s Pals, accepts the award from Jordyn Sasakamoose, daughter of Starr Sasakamoose.

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