Kraft Hockeyville: Northern Capitals’ players from Vanderhoof share their experiences

Ella Boon. (Submitted)Ella Boon. (Submitted)
Heidi Goncalves. (Submitted)Heidi Goncalves. (Submitted)

With the top 4 announcement for Kraft Hockeville coming up on March 20, the Express reached out to two players for the Northern Capitals who are originally from Vanderhoof, and were a part of Vanderhoof Minor Hockey.

Ella Boon and Lindsey Goncalves are playing for the Capitals’ this year and would love Vanderhoof’s support for Kraft Hockeyville this year.

READ MORE: Northern Capitals in running for Kraft Hockeyville

The Prince George based Northern Capitals have thrown their name in, for this year’s 2021 Kraft Hockeyville competition. The annual event, held online for the past 15 years has provided $250,000 worth of arena upgrades and improvements, along with the right for the region to host a NHL preseason game.

Nominations closed Feb. 14, and judging will end March 19. After that, a top four announcement will be made before voting opens from April 9 at 6 a.m. until April 10 at 2 p.m., with the winner being announced April 10.

If the Capitals’ win, it will bring $250,000 worth arena upgrades to the Ernie Sam Memorial Arena in Fort St. James, located on the traditional territory of the Nak’azdli Whut’en.

Meanwhile, Goncalves, 14-years-old said she joined the Northern Capitals for the 2020-2021 season as an under age player. Goncalves plays center.

“I have been playing hockey since I was five years old, with the Vanderhoof Bears. I love the community, the family it brings together, and honestly there is nowhere else I would rather be, than on the ice with my team that I am glad to call my family over this past season,” she told the Express in an email response to questions.

She said accomplishing and trying new things to enhance her skill as a player is a liberating feeling. “Overall I just grow so much as a person playing this sport.”

READ MORE: Vanderhoof minor hockey coach sets up virtual meeting with Olympians to keep players engaged

In regard to her time with the Northern Capitals, Goncalves said,”I’ve never grown so much as a player and as a person, than I have with the Northern Capitals, and having coaches that love and cherish this sport just as much as we all do, is a huge benefit to all of us, and I couldn’t ask for anything better from this team and it’s community.”

Boon, 16-years-old, has been playing hockey for 11 years and started her first season with the Northern Capitals playing defense in the 2019-2020 season.

She said she enjoys playing hockey because she loves the challenges it brings. “It’s a highly competitive sport which I like as I am a competitive person. I also enjoy it because it’s fun and every time I get to go on the ice, it’s an escape from everything else that’s going on,” Boon added.

She was a part of the first ever under-18 female team to play in the outdoor winter classic game in Fort St. James last year and she called it an “unforgettable” experience.

“My favourite hockey memory was playing on a selects team in the Canada cup West female spring hockey tournament in 2017. We won the tournament and in the finals I scored our first goal and assisted our second goal which turned out to be the game winning goal. It was one of my favourite memories because a lot of the girls I played with on the team are the same girls I’m playing with now on the Northern Capitals.”

Aman Parhar
Editor – Vanderhoof Omineca Express, Caledonia Courier

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