By Tyler Lowey, Times Reporter
Generations of talented ringette players were showcased last weekend during the ninth annual Laurie Ruppe Memorial Tournament.
Ten different local teams competed for the annual tourney prize, but only the U12B Strathmore Ice Beasts took home gold.
The Beasts blanked the St. Albert Thunder 6-0 in the final Feb. 4 at the Strathmore Family Centre Blue Arena. It was a rematch of their 5-4 round robin game one day prior, one in which the Beasts came out on top once again.
The Beasts wrapped up the round robin slate by doubling up the Calgary Northwest Havoc 10-5, and clipped the Airdrie Storm 7-3.
Each team enjoyed three round robin games followed by the top two teams in each division playing for the tournament title.
Four other Ice programs competed in an age group final, but they all went home with silver.
The U12A Ice dropped a nail biter to the Calgary Northwest Edge in their final, losing 4-3 on Super Bowl Sunday, duplicating their result from when the two met earlier in the round robin stage. The Ice did, however, manage to pick up wins over the Lacombe Edge 8-6 and the Indus Lightning 12-8.
In the U12C division, the Ice were knocked off by the Leduc Jaguars in the final and also dropped their round robin tilt 13-11. The Ice did pick up wins against the Airdrie Attitude 12-7 and the Red Deer Rush 10-5.
After skating through the round robin undefeated with wins over the Edmonton Velocity 7-4 and Lethbridge Hericanes 8-3 and tying the Calgary South Warriors 4-4, the U14B Ice Wizards were clipped 8-5 by the Hericanes in the final.
In the oldest division, the U19B Ice were tripped up 6-2 in the final by the Beaumont Rush. Earlier in the tournament, the Ice picked up a 5-3 win over the Edmonton Edge, lost to the Calgary Northwest Vex 2-1 and lost to the Rush 5-2.
The Ruppe tournament was established following the passing of Laurie Ruppe, who was a cherished member in the ringette community and greatly responsible for the growth of the sport in Strathmore.
The U10S1 Ice Dragons were one of two local teams to go winless on the weekend, as they fell 6-1 to the Airdrie Blue Dragons, 6-2 to the Lethbridge Ringleaders and 6-4 to the Red Deer Rockets.
The other was the U16B Ice, who dropped a pair of 8-6 decisions to the St. Albert Chaos and Cochrane Rockies, before falling 11-8 to the Beaumont Rush in their final game.
The U10S2 division hosted a pair of Strathmore Ice teams. The Raptors went 1-2 after beating the Beaumont Rush 7-2 and losing to the Lacombe Edge 5-4 and the Airdrie Sting Yellow Jackets 8-5. The Thunder also went 1-2 when they beat the Rush 6-1 in their final game after losing 9-8 to the Edge and 8-6 to the Yellow Jackets.
The U10S3 Ice Skulls opened the weekend with a 9-7 victory over the Airdrie Sting Yellow, but fell 7-5 to the Spruce Grove Ringers 7-5 and the Cochrane Rockies 6-4.
Wrapping up the local talent was the U16A Ice, who also opened their weekend with an 8-3 victory over the Sherwood Park Wildcats, but faded with an 8-7 loss to the Bow View Rage and a 7-5 loss to the Medicine Hat Mission.