They came to town looking for gold.
Twelve teams of nine and 10-year-olds from B.C. and the United States converged on Penticton for the annual Up N’ Atom minor hockey tournament for atom development players.
The teams were divided into A and B pools, with two local squads, the Gametime Sports Jr. Vees and the ECM Promotions Jr. Vees, winding up in the latter group.
Following the round-robin portion of the tournament, it was ECM in first place followed by Kelowna, Gametime and North Vancouver.
Both Penticton teams defeated their respective opponents in the first round of the playoffs setting the stage for an all-local final billed by team officials as “the gunfight at the South OK (Events Centre) Corral.”
A goal in the dying seconds of regulation time pulled Gametime into an 8-8 tie. Extra time solved nothing, so it was down to a shootout to see who took gold.
When the dust cleared it was Jordyn Charters with the lone goal for Gametime, while Nathan Marques and Kolton Denich helped ECM win all the marbles.
The teams used all four city rinks during three-day event.
The A pool featured the West Kelowna A Warriors, Hollyburn Huskies, Cranbrook Jets, Spokane Chiefs, Idaho Steelheads, and the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
In the A pool, West Kelowna finished first in the round-robin, followed by the Spokane, Cranbrook and Salmon Arm.
The Warriors defeated the Silverbacks 7-2 in the first round of the playoffs and pounded the Chiefs 10-1 to score the gold in pool A.