Kelowna minor hockey team heads to Quebec for coveted tournament in 2019

The Jr Rockets will represent Kelowna for the first time in over 15 years

A pinnacle of minor hockey lies only 4,500 kms to the east of Kelowna, in Quebec City: the 60th Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament in Feb. 2019. This anniversary edition of the tournament is remarkable for Okanagan hockey fans because Kelowna will be sending a representative team for the first time in over 15 years, the Kelowna pee-wee tier 1 Jr Rockets.

The tournament’s unparalleled history glitters with the names of hockey legends, including Howe, Lafleur, Lemieux, Roy, Stamkos and Gretzky, who still holds the single season goal scoring record.

Kelowna Pee-Wee Tier 1 head coach and former Vancouver Canuck, Byron Ritchie, played in the tournament twice and has fond memories of his experience.

“Playing in front of a huge crowd for first time was incredible, and the whole vibe around the city of Quebec was electric,” said Ritchie. “Even the activities away from the rink are still memorable; tube rides down manmade ice slides, and skating on all the outdoor rinks was pretty incredible for a kid from Vancouver.”

RELATED: West Kelowna Warriors drop home game to Merritt, battle Vernon on Saturday

With over 200,000 spectators taking in the 12 day event, and several teams from the US and Europe, as well as Australia, Japan and Mexico, the experience could benefit players on both a cultural and a hockey level.

12 year-old Jr Rocket forward, Maddix McCagherty, is excited.

“We are so lucky to have been chosen. I’ve never been to Quebec before, where they speak a different language. It’s really cold there too, and it’ll be neat to see the ice sculptures and other outdoor activities,” said Maddix. “I can’t wait to play in front of so many people, it’ll be like playing in a WHL game.”

While teams apply for the tournament in the summer, performance is monitored by a selection committee, and only the best are accepted. Despite the teams success this season, acceptance into the tournament was a shock,

“It was a complete surprise as we expected the winter clubs (the typically dominant North Shore & Burnaby) to again represent British Columbia,” said team manager Brigget Tansem. “But this year the Quebec Tournament committee chose two minor hockey teams, ourselves and Semiahmoo.”

RELATED: B.C. axe thrower targets world championships

Perhaps the biggest summit to scale for the team, however, will be raising enough money so that all players can attend. Team fundraising co-ordinator, Marni Adams, informs that the team has begun raising money, and will launch a fund-raising push in the New Year.

Interests in financially supporting the team’s trip to the Quebec tournament can contact Marni at marni_l@telus.net.

— Files from Steve Cawley

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Westside wildfire human caused

Blaze started as a house fire and spread to the bush

COVID-19 outbreak at Okanagan Correctional Centre, involves 3 staff

Three staff involved in possible exposure, health officials say

Surrey man found guilty in West Kelowna killing of common-law spouse

Tejwant Danjou was convicted of second-degree murder in the July 2018 death of Rama Gauravarapu in West Kelowna

Scavenger hunt promotes downtown Kelowna businesses

The Great Kelowna Scavenger Hunt is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 22

No cause for concern: RCMP canine unit training in Kelowna

Officers were spotted in the Landmark District on Thursday

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Salmon Arm’s first Bitcoin ATM installed in mall

The kiosk will allow people to buy cryptocurrency or sell it for cash.

Summerland mayor asks for community conversation on racism

Incidents in July prompt calls for dialogue

Summerland working to reopen recreation facilities

Arena and pool are opening, but ball season will not proceed

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Straight from DeHart

Local realtor reaches milestone anniverary

Most Read