Players from the atom and pee wee female Penticton hockey teams enjoyed some cake after a fun ice session celebrating World Girls Hockey Weekend on Saturday. Kristi Patton/Western News

Okanagan teams hit the ice to celebrate World Girls Hockey Weekend

Penticton and Kelowna female hockey teams play in the Long Game

The game had been well underway before the Penticton and Kelowna female bantam hockey players even stepped on to the ice Saturday.

The Long Game, as part of the celebration for World Girls Hockey Weekend, started with players from atom to senior in Newfoundland. The torch, and the running score, was then passed off to Nova Scotia and continued across the country.

Penticton offered to be the underdog, taking on the efforts of Team Red that were losing to Team White 47-45 by the time the bantam aged game landed in B.C. Kelowna netminder Averie Blais only allowed one goal, off the stick of Gabby Lindsay, to give Team White the Long Game win, 51-46. Kaelin Foster and Sydney Munro scored two goals each for Kelowna.

World Girls Hockey Weekend included over 300 events happening across Canada, but stretched much further than that. The International Ice Hockey Federation said over 30 countries were holding events from try-it days and skills camps to exhibition games and opportunities to meet national team players.

In Hong Kong, 120 participants between the ages of eight and 53 laced up to skate with members of their national team. The Netherlands held their first-ever World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend by setting up stations for girls to learn the basic skills. Besides the Long Game in Penticton, the minor hockey association invited atom and pee wee aged players for a fun game by blending the teams.

“Female hockey is doing really well in Penticton. We continue to grow and have a team in every age group this year,” said Barb Main, female director for the Penticton Minor Hockey Association.

The association has 90 female players this year, having graduated a lot of girls at the end of last season.

“We are starting to see more players in the younger age groups, which is great. This is a really fun team sport and it helps the girls develop not just as players, but as people,” said Main. “I think every year we move forward, we develop more kids and recruit more coaches. Every year we are also seeing more female coaches. Like today, we had a player that graduated out of our program helping on the bench. She is going to be an assistant coach for a female bantam team in Vancouver this season.”

Main said their big recruitment drive takes place in the spring with the free try-it day for girls.

“If there is a child that is interested in trying the sport we encourage their parents to get a hold of us before that session. We have some equipment to lend out and there is a ton of funding available for kids who need it.”

Funding is available through KidSport and the newest foundation the Grindstone Award which provides grants to female players under the age of 19 based on financial need and desire, not on hockey ability.

 

Penticton’s Sydney St. Hilaine speeds by Kelowna Rockets player Tatam Wade during the Long Game played at Memorial Arena on Saturday as part of World Girls Hockey Weekend celebrations. Kristi Patton/Western News

Penticton’s Ashley McMillan (middle) and Alison Rempel (right) tangle with Kelowna Rockets player Madysin Martin behind the net during the Long Game played at Memorial Arena on Saturday as part of World Girls Hockey Weekend celebrations. Kristi Patton/Western News

Penticton Minor Hockey Association atom and pee wee aged female players had an exhibition game on Saturday where they mixed the teams to celebrate World Girls Ice Hockey Weekend. Kristi Patton/Western News

Penticton bantam goalie Rowan Knowles gets a pat on the shoulder from a teammate following the Long Game played at Memorial Arena on Saturday against the Kelowna Rockets as part of World Girls Hockey Weekend celebrations. Kristi Patton/Western News

Sydney Munro tallied two goals for the female bantam Kelowna Rockets during the Long Game played in Penticton at Memorial Arena on Saturday as part of World Girls Hockey Weekend celebrations. Kristi Patton/Western News

Just Posted

Kelowna council settles on 3.6 per cent tax increase for 2018

“Safety” budget heavy on a wide-range of public safety related spending

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15-to-19 year-olds, including one in Coldstream

Mail bandit puts damper on Christmas in Central Okanagan

Mail Box thefts have been reported throughout the Okanagan

West Kelowna RCMP seeks to reunite stolen items to owners

Numerous personal belongings were found during a seizure

Budget 2018: Kelowna to look at monitoring downtown security cameras 24 hours per day

Potential $30,000 budget item will be discussed further over objections of the mayor

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Smart Cities Challenge needs community support

What challenges could Penticton solve with innovative ideas and $50 million?

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

Charges in car wash shooting stalled

Court waits for police watchdog report on Salmon Arm incident.

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Kelowna skaters secure spots for B.C. Games

Kelowna Speed Skating Club hosts Kelowna Cup and Winter Games qualifier at CNC

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Most Read