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Hanukkah ousts Christmas in holiday hockey challenge

Annual fun hockey tournament raises funds for muscular dystrophy
Team Hanukkah claims the Oak Bay Xmas Cup after beating Team Christmas in the final of the annual Boxing Day tournament at Oak Bay Recreation Centre.

Team Hanukkah seems to be building a dynasty of the Oak Bay Xmas Cup.

The team scored its fourth cup in eight years of the annual fun tournament played out of Oak Bay Recreation Centre.

“The championship game was an intense, action-packed game,” said Sean Tackaberry, one of the organizers. “The lead switched back and forth three times. Young guns Grady Nursey and Kahlil Fontana brought a speed game for Team Christmas.”

While Team Hanukkah had solid defence from Jeremy Petzing and Brett “Gator” Fiddick, in the end Team Hanukkah took the cup in a 5-3 win on big goals from Jon Curry and Ben Van Wyk. Dave Hambleton earned the game MVP.

The Boxing Day tournament started earlier in the day with Team Christmas down 5-1 facing Team Festivus, but stormed back in the second to win 10-7.

They were led by Louka Kampela with a hat trick. Sean “Beaner” Battistoni, and Jeff “J-Lo” Lougheed had a couple “beauty” goals in the win.

Game MVP went to Jordyn Chelini-Dheensaw, playing in her first hockey game and picking up an assist.

In Game 2 Team Hanukkah hung on for a 5-3 win over Team Feliz Navidad. Spencer Doney led the way with two great goals, and was named Game MVP.

The third-place game saw Team Festivus versus Team Feliz Navidad.

“The wheels fell off for Team Feliz Navidad” in the third place game, Tackaberry said, and Festivus dominated in a 6-2 win.

Festivus net minder Hugh Wilzewski picked up the Game MVP.

“Big thanks to all of our sponsors, families, friends and participants who made this our best ever,” Tackaberry said. “Our fundraising totals are still being determined, but early indications are looking like we raised between $12,000 and $13,000.”

The event features 64 players of mixed skill levels divided into four teams vying for the chance to hoist the Xmas Cup. Each year funds are raised through the event to benefit causes touching the players and their communities. Funds raised this year support three families affected by MD as well as awareness through Muscular Dystrophy Canada, BC Region.