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Tournament takes hit.

Indications are it might take awhile for one of Canada's longest-running Aboriginal hockey tournaments to return to its glory days.

Though it was not held in 2007, the Lumber Kings Sports Club in Prince George, B.C. staged the 23rd running of its tournament from Apr. 11 to 13.

Though organizers were originally hoping to attract 48 teams in five divisions, they only ended up with 24 entrants in four classes. And the two highest calibre divisions, the men's A and men's B groupings, were not held due to a lack of interested teams.

A total of 40 squads had competed at the last tournament, in 2006.

"The forest industry has really taken a hit out here," said tournament director Harley Chingee. "It has impacted a lot of communities that have teams that usually come here."

Organizers were hoping to have 12 squads take part in the men's A division. Though there was an advertised $23,000 up for grabs to the top four finishers in this division, including $12,000 for the champions, there was not enough willing participants.

"I'm disappointed there wasn't enough teams," Chingee said, adding only six teams from across western Canada had shown some interest in taking part in this division.
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Title Annotation:Windspeaker sports briefs; Lumber Kings Sports Club's Aboriginal hockey tournaments
Author:Laskaris, Sam
Publication:Windspeaker
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:May 1, 2008
Words:206
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