The stands and the ice at Smithers Civic Centre were jammed with hockey playing munchkins as Smithers hosted their annual novice tournament this weekend.
Eight teams took part in the two day event, including the Smithers Roi Theatre’s and the Smithers’ Dan’s Source for Sports.
Prince Rupert, Vanderhoof, Houston, Kitimat, Terrace and Hazelton made the trip, and in turn, the two Smithers novice teams will attend tournaments in each of their respective towns.
For many of these kids it was the first minor hockey tournament of their young careers.
“It’s their first time playing real hockey, with icing and off-sides and lots of parents watching,” said Source for Sports head coach Shawn Reed.
Unlike some other novice tournaments, Smithers organizers decided not to have a round robin, opting instead to keep winning and losing far down on the list of priorities.
“At this level, it’s all about fun, and allowing the kids to develop their skills a little bit,” Roi head coach Derek Holland said. Tournaments like this one are the only official games that kids at the novice age play, though they do get in a few mix and match games against each other during practice.
There are always difficulties organizing a tournament like this, especially early in the season.
“The toughest part is finding all the contacts in the other towns,” co- tournament organizer Dennis Conlon, said.
“Since it’s the beginning of the hockey year, and not everyone starts on their season at the same time, sometimes you have less than a month to get everything together.
“The idea is that you invite teams whose tournaments you want to go to and hope that they invite you back.”
Both coaches of the Smithers teams were pleased with the results, both on and off the ice.
“I am really proud of the kids,” Reed said. “They played awesome, they had a great time and they are all really great sports.”
Rosters: Smithers Roi Theatre: #8 Dawson Unruh, #13 Cara Conlon, #18 Colby Bowd, #9 Drew Stevens, #6 Jesse Green, #11 Joey Trigiani, #7 Keenan Holland, #19 Lando Ball, #14 Miguel Britton, #16 Sages Brunham, #3 Tess Welllington and #4 Will Egan.
Smithers Dan’s Source for Sports: #12 Lukas Owens, #9 Allen Miller, #7 Chad Shorter, #3 Owen Reed, #2 Elias Joesph, #6 James Baxter, #14 Keegan Jones, #17 Liam Blair-Murphy, #4 Luis Laskoski, #8 Mason Brain and #5 Thomas Clarke. Scores: Game 1 Smithers Roi (3) vs Houston Little Luckies(9)
Game 2 Kitimat(6) vs Prince Rupert(8)
Game 3 Smithers Dan`s Source for Sport(8) vs Hazelton Bulldogs(2)
Game 4 Terrace Black(1) vs Prince Rupert(10)
Game 5 Vanderhoof Bears(5) vs Smithers Roi Theatre(3)
Game 6 Hazelton Bulldogs(0) vs Houston Little Luckies(8)
Game 7 Kitimat(8) vs Dan`s Source for Sport(2)
Game 8 Vanderhoof Bears(1) VS Prince Rupert(4)
Game 9 Terrace Black(5) vs Kitimat(5)
Game 10 Smithers Dan`s Source for Sport(9) VS Terrace Black(3)
Game 11 Prince Rupert(6) vs Smithers Roi Theatre(3)
Game 12 Kitimat(4) vs Vanderhoof Bears(5)
Game 13 Terrace Black(5) vs Houston Little Luckies(3)
Game 14 Hazelton Bulldogs(0) vs Vanderhoof Bears(15)
Game 15 Smithers Dan`s Source for Sport(3) vs Houston Little Luckies(1)
Game 16 Smithers Roi Theatre(11) vs Hazelton Bulldogs(3)