Submitted by Heather Floris
This year the North West District Hockey permitted a travel team to be made up of Bantam players from our district, Prince Rupert to Vanderhoof, to go and play in Tier 1 calibre tournaments and get some exposure to scouts.
The team made its debut in the Tim Jardine Tournament in South Delta on Remembrance Day weekend and met with great success. The team being made up of 4 players from Vanderhoof, 3 from Houston, 2 from Smithers, 2 from Kitimat, and 4 from Terrace hadn’t had a chance to even have a practice together before heading South but that didn’t stop them from having amazing results.
The first game saw them playing Prince George Tier 1 coming out on the short end with a 7-1 loss but even by the end of that game the team was making improvements with every shift.
In the second game they met Chilliwack Bruins and the team started coming together only losing 4-1 with the fourth goal being in the empty net.
In the third game the players came out ready to go and played the Coquitlam Chiefs. North West was down 3-1 going into the third, a late penalty to Coquitlam in the third allowed them to pull their goalie and score 2 goals in the last 2 minutes to come out with their first win 3-2, giving us a third place finish in our pool.
In the cross over they met the Victoria Kings it was a back and forth game which ended in a tie 2-2 when the horn blew. In the overtime Victoria ended up with the winning goal halfway through ending with a 3-2 loss after many scoring chances from both sides.
It was amazing watching these boys become more of a team every game they played, they worked hard every shift and never gave up no matter what the score.
The team will be travelling to 3 more tournaments, Kamloops KIHBIT December 28th-Jan 1st, Prince George January 20th-22nd, and Abbotsford Dallas Saunders February 11th-13th. This team is completely funded by the parents but we have been lucky enough to have amazing community sponsorship to help with our tournament fees.
We would like to send a huge thank you to the sponsors that have made this possible.