Fans turned out in big numbers for the Northern Hockey Challenge in Iqaluit and Hay River this weekend.

On Friday night, Iqaluit's team beat Kuujjuaq 7 to 5 at the Arctic Winter Games arena. But on Saturday, Kuujjuaq came back to beat Iqaluit, 7 to 6.

Brian Tattuinee is running the tournament's website and Facebook page, and has been tweeting live from the games.

He said one of Iqaluit's star players is Sateana Goupil.

"He's just been all over the ice. He's skating hard, he's got some good line mates in Dwayne Twerdin and Eric Jacobsen. He's just been doing really well for Iqaluit," Tattuinee said.

Meanwhile, the Don Stewart Recreation Centre in Hay River was packed to near capacity Friday and Saturday as Hay River took on Yellowknife in a two-game series. 

Town councillor Keith Dohey said it's been a long time since Hay River has had competitive hockey like this.

"It's awesome to see," he said. "I drove by at seven o'clock and the parking lot was full of cars already, and there's cars lined up past town hall, all the way down the street like right downtown."

Despite the excitement, Hay River wasn't able to beat Yellowknife in either game.

The eastern division playoffs continue next weekend, when Repulse Bay comes to Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet heads to Kuujjuaq.

In the western division, Hay River will be in Yellowknife.

Division championships will lead to a best-of-five series to pick the two teams for the Northern Hockey Challenge Cup.

The tournament is sponsored by First Air.