The Stanley Mission River Hawks pee wee hockey team had its provincial championship hopes end Sunday.

After tying the first game 1-1 with the Muenster Flyers in their second-round series, the River Hawks dropped a 4-3 decision Sunday on home ice.

Devin Bernatchez is the coach of the Stanley Mission club and says he is proud of his group.

“We only had 10 skaters, but at the end of the day, our kids are learning, they’re playing some good hockey,” said Bernatchez.

“For us, we’re representing the north in the provincials. These guys drove up 500 kilometres from Muenster to come play in Stanley Mission, so we feel like we’re representing the north. We did good, we didn’t get the win, but we represented the north well and we’ve got to be proud of that.”

Bernatchez says he would like to see more teams from northern Saskatchewan participate in provincials.

“Provincials is a big thing now and I hope that the kids in the north realize that — that is the pinnacle of minor hockey,” said Bernatchez.

“We’ve got to get more northern teams involved in provincials and I think we’ll get more young players getting better at hockey — and maybe getting into the junior ranks. These kids are only 12-13 years old – they still got a lot of time to develop, this is a good experience for them. Win or lose, they learn a lot, they had a lot of fun, they competed hard.”

Stanley Mission was competing in the pee wee D provincial bracket.

The River Hawks will now get set for league playoffs and some tournaments in the spring.

(PHOTO: The Muenster Flyers (left) and Stanley Mission River Hawks (right). Photo courtesy of Linda McLeod.)