The Smash n' Bash Tournament is an open-level men's tournament that has been played for more than a decade in Whitefish, Montana. It features the fastest and most competitive adult hockey that is played all year in Whitefish. The winner brings home a travelling cup with every past winner inscribed upon it.
Check out the 2015 Team Whitefish Roster
It was over early for the repeating champions from Whitefish. Despite outplaying the Titans of Calgary on friday night, a one-timer, two breakaways, and an amazingly lucky bounce put Whitefish down 4-0, early in the second period. It was a cold start, they were looking stunned, bewildered, beaten. But while everyone knows a four goal lead in hockey is about as secure a victory as you can get, the Whitefish team did not do the one thing that would have made the loss a certainty: they didn't quit.
The home town crowd seemed to finally get the memo that the team needed them, and started filtering into the arena. The game may have looked over, but somehow, it was clear Whitefish had the tallent to make a run at it. This was the best Whitefish team anyone had seen assembled, and no one wanted to see the dream of back-to-back championships disappear in the first half, of the first game.
Led by a firey captain Bob Purvis, Whitefish began to claw their way back. They popped in a couple before the 2nd period was over. Then they found a way to score two more at the start of the 3rd to tie it up. Seconds later they made another mistake and fell behind again. All the momentum of the four goal come-back seemed to escape the building. But Alex Lundbohm had a different idea as to how this story would end. He picked up a ridiculous one-timer from Nate Powell, and tied the game 5-5. A minute later two Whitefish players connected on a shoulder high redirect into the net. The refs called it legal, and Whitefish had their first lead of the game. Two minutes later Marc Nastase took a no-look shot while appearing to set up a one-timer on a 3-on-1, and the 'Fish had done the impossble. The horn sounded and Whitefish had won, 7-5.
Once a train starts rolling, it has a habit of not slowing down for a long time. Saturday featured Whitefish against two more Alberta teams, first a returning Calgary team that had tied with Whitefish the previous year. They went down 8-2. In the evening, Whitefish took on the Blackhawks from Bawlff—and it seemed the entire game was one power play. Whitefish outshot Bawlff 51-10 en route to a 6-1 victory.
But Whitefish failed to secure a shutout, a feat that earns a team 2 extra points in the round robin scoring. The Pirates of Oktoks were also 3-0, but they only scored 2 goals in their third game. Five goals earns max points. That left Whitefish slightly ahead, and the Big Sky Lumberjacks played the late game to a 11-2 victory. Big Sky had one shut out, so they would be the one-seed going into the finals. The Pirates missed the finals on points.
There is something to be said for home ice advantage in adult hockey tournaments. The Whitefish team slept in their own beds on Saturday night. Even though they emptied plenty of beers, they would appear the fresher team on Sunday. Big Sky had a strong squad—outscoring opponents 28-3 over the weekend. But Whitefish was ready. They scored early and often. Lundbohm, Nastase, Kyle Hackett, Purvis, and Nate Parenteau all found the back of the net, and the Lumberjacks never did. An ugly incident between a Lumberjack player and Nate Powell threatened to see the game come unwound, but both sides settled down and finished the game cleanly. At the final buzzer Whitefish had won a 5-0 victory. Scoring five on a team that had only allowed 1 goal per game was pretty impressive, but it may be eclipsed by Kris Archer and the defense shutting out a team that had averaged 9.33 goals per game.
Click here to Dowload Hi-rez Championship Photo
|Friday February 6, 2015|
|1||4:00 p.m.||Blackhawks (Bawlf, AB)||Silver Dollar Express (Missoula, MT)||Tie 6-6|
|2||5:30 p.m.||Black Gold Militia (Sparwood, BC)||Cutthroats (Missoula, MT)||B.G.M. 3-2|
|3||7:00 p.m.||Fernie, BC||Pirates (Okotoks, BC)||Pirates 7-3|
|4||8:30 p.m.||Whitefish, MT||Titans (Calgary, AB)||Whitefish 7-5|
|5||10:00 p.m.||Lumberjacks (Bozeman, MT)||Calgary, AB||Lumberjacks 7-1|
|Saturday February 7, 2015|
|6||9:30 a.m.||Silver Dollar Express||Black Gold Militia||Express 6-3|
|7||11:00 a.m.||Pirates||Blackhawks||Pirates 8-3|
|8||12:30 p.m.||Whitefish||Calgary||Whitefish 8-2|
|9||2:00 p.m.||Cutthroats||Titans||Titans 7-4|
|10||3:30 p.m.||Fernie||Lumberjacks||Lumberjacks 10-0|
|11||5:00 p.m.||Pirates||Silver Dollar Express||Pirates 2-0|
|12||6:30 p.m.||Calgary||Black Gold Militia||Calgary 11-6|
|13||8:00 p.m.||Whitefish||Blackhawks||Whitefish 6-1|
|14||9:30 p.m.||Cutthroats||Fernie||Fernie 6-4|
|15||11:00 p.m.||Titans||Lumberjacks||Lumberjacks 11-2|
|Sunday February 8, 2015|
|19||10:00 a.m.||Pirates||Silver Dollar Express||Pirates (via forfeit)|
|20||11:30 a.m.||Whitefish||Lumberjacks||Whitefish 5-0|
Tournament scoring awards 6 points for a win, 3 points for a tie, plus 1 point for each goal scored, up to 5 goals, and 2 points for a shutout. Maxium score for a given game is 13 points (6 for win, 5 for goals, 2 for shutout). Top four teams play in the consolation or championship game.