The Red Pheasant Rebels were crowned champions in the Senior Contact Division of a tournament that’s widely known as the “Native Stanley Cup”.
The Rebels defeated Beardy’s 5-3 in yesterday’s final at the 49th Annual Battlefords Indian Metis Friendship Centre All-Native Hockey Tournament in North Battleford.
In the Legends Division, Onion Lake took home the trophy with a 5-2 win over Peter Ballantyne in the final.
This was the first year that players were forced to play for their own community — and teams were limited to three imports.
In previous years, teams were free to actively recruit players from outside their host community — but organizers wanted the tournament to return to its roots.
Last year’s senior contact division winners, a team called the Onion Lake Indian Army, will go down as the last champions of the “hired gun” era of the tournament.