The idea of 3-on-3 hockey has grown in recent years. The beginning of the season saw the American Hockey League adopting 3-on-3 play in games that go to overtime. The 4-on-4 overtime period lasts seven minutes, switches to 3-on-3 and goes to shootout as the last resort. The success of implementing 3-on-3 hockey in the AHL has the National Hockey League considering a similar model.
The third edition of the ‘Fish Findlay Classic’ returns for the February 28-March 1 weekend at the Shawville arena. The Classic is a 3-on-3 men’s tournament for 18 years and older players. The puck drops at 9:30 on the 28th and goes all day.
“Not many people run these types of tournaments,” says organizer Darcy Findlay, who along with Joe McCleary came up with the idea. “3-on-3 was an easy choice. It’s fast paced, lots of goals, exciting to watch and challenging for the athletes. No one is used to the format and it’s extremely fun to be part of.”
When the first ‘Fish Findlay Classic’ kicked off in 2013, it was well-received with 10 teams and has grown in the three years. “The tournament went from one day to three. This year, I booked only two and lengthened the day. Overall, it’s more than doubled.”
“I started the tournament for a few reasons,” continues Darcy. “First off, it’s always an exciting time in Shawville when there is hockey. It brings people together and growing up playing hockey, I’ve seen benefits athletes receive from the sport and want to give back to the cause and keep minor hockey in Shawville running strong.”
All proceeds from the tournament will go to Shawville Minor Hockey. The success of last year raised an impressive $5,000. It’s a number that Darcy hopes to beat. The money was used for a week long hockey camp before the minor hockey season started. “Essentially it’s free ice time for a full week for all age categories,” says Darcy.
This year, will see 16 teams and 160 players taking the ice. Each team must have a maximum of nine players and a goalie. Like the concept of the tournament says, there are only three players from each team, plus their goalie on the ice. They have 35-minute time slots for their games. Any penalties that are given out are changed to penalty shots, instead of time in the box.
The 16 teams are split into two divisions and are guaranteed to play three games, but possibly up to six. The A Division teams are spearheaded by Troy Côté, Jordan MacDougall, Ryan Barber, Alex Vidoni, Blake Howarth, Pat Seguin. The B Division teams are led by William Armitage, Kyle Hodgins, Kevin Dube, Jason Pieschke, Curtis Young, Daniel Fish, Ed Rusenstrom, Keith Kirkham, Riley Young and Troy Beaupre.
Players and the public can find a kitchen and a bar open for refreshments upstairs in the Lions Hall. There will be music all day and a DJ on Saturday night. Silent auctions and raffles will also be on the go.
“A lot of prizes are handed out,” says Darcy. “The success has been great. Plenty of people have helped out Joe and me and we could not do it without them.”
By: Scott Campbell – February 2015.
(Photo – The first winners of the Fish Findlay Classic in 2013 – featured in photo are: Darcy Findlay, Shane Powell, David Hobbs, Jordan MacDougall, Rocky White, Yancey Thusky, Bryan Kealey, Erik Tremblay and Adam Chalifoux.)