Hockey scouts will be out in force next week when some of the top midget-aged players in Western Canada converge for the BDO 38th annual Kelowna International Elite Midget Tournament.
Hosted by the Central Zone Fripp Rockets, the 12-team tourney is set for Jan. 11 to 15 at Rutland Arena and CNC. Thirty-three games will be played during the course of the five-day event, featuring teams from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
Among the teams competing are the Saskatoon Contacts, who are coming off an appearance in the gold medal final of the Calgary Mac’s midget tournament.
The Okanagan is represented by the host Fripp Warehousing Rockets, the BCMML’s Okanagan Rockets, and two teams from the Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA Red and White).
Travelling the longest distance to Kelowna for the tournament is the Burlington Eagles from Ontario.
The championship game will be played Sunday, Jan. 15 at Rutland West and will be broadcast live on Shaw TV.
The tournament will also feature, for the first time, the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Prospects Game on Saturday, Jan. 14 at Rutland Arena. The game will be broadcast live on Shaw TV beginning at 2 p.m.
Here’s a look at the tournament schedule for the first two days of action:
Wednesday, Jan. 11
• 1:30 p.m. @ Rutland E—OHA Red vs Burlington
• 2:00 p.m. @ Rutland W—OHA White vs Saskatoon Contacts
• 4 p.m. @ Rutland E—Delta U18 vs Fripp Rockets
• 4:30 p.m. @ Rutland W—Swift Current vs Yale U18
• 6:30 p.m. @ Rutland E—Lethbridge vs N. Alberta Extreme
• 7:00 p.m. @ Rutland W—Okanagan Rockets vs Burnaby WC
Thursday, Jan. 12
• 8:00 a.m. @ CNC 1—Fripp Rockets vs Swift Current
• 8:00 a.m. @ Rutland E—OHA Red vs Delta U18
• 8:30 a.m. @ Rutland W—Burlington vs Yale U18
• 10:30 a.m. @ Rutland E—S’toon Contacts vs Burnaby WC
• 10:45 a.m. @ CNC 1—Okanagan Rockets vs N. Alberta Extreme
• 11:00 a.m. @ Rutland W—Lethbridge vs OHA White
• 3:00 p.m. @ CNC 1—Swift Current vs OHA Red
• 4:30 p.m. @ Rutland E—Burlington vs Delta U18
• 5:00 p.m. @ Rutland W—Yale U18 vs Fripp Rockets
• 5:30 p.m. @ CNC 1—S’toon Contacts vs Okanagan Rockets
• 7:00 p.m. @ Rutland E—Burnaby WC vs Lethbridge
• 7:30 p.m. @ Rutland W—N. Alberta Extreme vs OHA White
The remainder of the schedule is available online at kimmt.com.