Nunavut’s midget boys hockey team will be chasing gold at the Arctic Winter Games in Hay River Friday evening.
They almost never made it that far. The team from the Yukon nearly pulled off the upset against Nunavut in the first semifinal Thursday but fell 3-2 in a shootout in Hay River.
Yukon held down a 2-0 lead for much of the game, only to see it disappear in the third period. The other semifinal featured the Northwest Territories in a 7-0 romp over Alaska.
That means Nunavut and the Northwest Territories will play for gold on Friday at 7 p.m. Mountain time while Alaska and Yukon will battle for bronze at 1:30 p.m.
Meanwhile the final round-robin game in bantam boys division saw Nunavut score the equalizer with less than a minute remaining and the goaltender pulled to salvage a 3-3 tie with Alberta North. That meant some mathematics had to be done to figure who finished where and who would advance to the playoffs, which began Thursday night.
Alaska ended up tops in the division and played Alberta North in the first semifinal while Nunavut, who finished third, had a meeting with the Northwest Territories.
On the junior girls side in Fort Smith, both semifinals were set to take place Thursday as Alaska faced off with Yukon in one game while the Northwest Territories took on Alberta North in the other semi. The winners would move into the gold ulu game tonight at 6 p.m. Mountain while the two losing teams would play for bronze at 4 p.m.