January 11, 2019
By Vince Clark
On December 22nd ,2018, the 13th annual Scragler Cup road hockey tournament took place outside Raymond “RayJay” Bouvier’s home on Clara Avenue in St-Georges.
The tournament features three men’s teams, the Bannocktown Brawlers, the Whiskey Sox, and the Assassins. The tournament typically also features a women’s division, known as the Scraglette cup, but sadly it was cancelled for this year as lots of the tournament regulars were unavailable on tournament day.
The assassins had the first overall pick this year, having finished 3rd in last years tournament. They were forced to trade it to the Bannocktown Brawlers however, due to a desperate need for multiple players. The assassins are largely comprised of former community members who’ve come home from abroad for the holidays, most of which didn’t make the trip out this year or didn’t get out until after tournament day. The assassins also lost superstar and multiple time Scragler cup MVP Raymond “Briggs” Avanthay, who moved away to BC in early 2018. This left them with only two players in attendance for the first game, and thus, they traded the first overall pick for the brawlers next 3 picks. This turned out to be a huge win for the brawlers, as they drafted Jacob Gerrard, and bolstered their already stocked roster with a top caliber scorer. The assassins then drafted elite defenseman Brenden “Pinky” Carlson and the three other remaining draftees.
The assassins had one more veteran arrive late to bolster their roster but they just couldn’t compete. The first game saw the brawlers absolutely demolish the whiskey sox 20-5. The assassins then pulled off a stunning upset, led by stellar defensive play from Brenden Carlson and excellent goaltending from Steven “Steve-O” Dermody, and beat the brawlers 6-5.
The Whiskey Sox then beat the Assassins in the semi-final, 9-5. Setting up a rematch with the high-powered Brawlers. The Whiskey Sox came to play this time around, and kept the game interesting for a while, but Brawlers goaltender Tyrone Morriseau stole the show in the first half. The Brawlers pulled away in the second half, led by Nodin Abraham, Jacob Gerrard, and Dallas Courchene, playfully dubbed the “Brown Sugar Line”, who terrorized the Whiskey Sox every time they stepped on the playing surface. The Bannocktown Brawlers took home the trophy, their sixth overall, and fourth in the last six years, with a 14-6 victory. Goaltender Tyrone Morriseau was named Tournament MVP. Though the Scragler cup has been well known to have significant swings in momentum from year to year, the Brawlers appear to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
This tournament continues to solidify its legacy as a beloved community holiday event year after year. From the shockingly high quality of play for small town road hockey, to the classic colour commentary provided by the host RayJay Bouvier, this event is always a crowd pleaser, and I know all of the tournament regulars are already looking forward to next year.