What we're like when we hear hockey season is close...
With the summer days slipping away, hockey season is right around the corner. The temperatures outside are scorching but the ice that's going in rinks around BC and the Yukon are beautifully cool.
For many Junior and Midget teams, hockey season has already begun with their try-out camps nearly over or just about to start. Registration for local Associations is not far behind either.
Looking for something rewarding this season? Why not billet a hockey player? Many Junior A and Junior B teams are still searching for host families. Check with your local team if you're interested.
Finally, WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING TO HEAR FROM YOU! Does your Association have an upcoming event that the Membership should know about? Or have you recently hosted an exciting event and want to tell us about it? Or a cool story about one of your members? Tell us!
GET TO KNOW A VOLUNTEER
Hockey in BC and the Yukon would not be possible without the dedication and hard work of thousands of volunteers.
This month, we are highlighting
Vincent Li for his commitment to hockey with the
Richmond Sockeyes and
Seafair Minor Hockey Association (now Richmond Jets). In addition, Vincent plays many sports himself and volunteers with the Special Olympics group and BC Hockey.
Thank you Vincent for all you do for hockey and sport in Richmond!
We are always looking to hear about amazing volunteers within your organization. Tell us about him or her for a chance to be featured in an upcoming BC Hockey newsletter! Please email Stacie Couch at
MEET THE NEW CHAIR OF THE BOARD
BC Hockey caught up recently appointed BC Hockey Chair of the Board, Bill Greene.
BC HOCKEY: THE BEGINNING - THE FIRST 25
The British Columbia Amateur Hockey Association (BCAHA) was formed at a meeting held at the Daily Province Newspaper office in Vancouver on February 9, 1919. This year, BC Hockey is celebrating its' 100th anniversary and as part of the celebrations, we are taking a look back at the many people, events, teams and influencers who have shaped hockey in BC.
This month, we taking it back to the very beginning.
Although not "technically" part of BC Hockey (they were never a member), the Vancouver Millionaires played an integral role in hockey in the province.
In 1911, the Patrick brothers, Frank and Lester, started their own professional league, the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA). The league started with three (3) teams including the Millionaires. Frank was a busy man as played for, coached and managed the team. In order for the league to gain credibility, they lured players from the National Hockey Association (NHA), including Fred "Cyclone" Taylor.
For the 1914 - 1915, season, the PCHA and NHA came to an agreement that the two (2) league's respective champions would play for the Stanley Cup. In the first year of the agreement, the Millionaires, led by Patrick and Taylor, won their league championship and went on to defeat the Ottawa Senators to claim their first and only Stanley Cup.
In a best of five (5) series played at Denman Arena in Vancouver, the Millionaires swept the Senators by scores of 6-2, 8-3 and 12-3, basically skating circles around their opponents. Taylor led the series with six (6) points
A crowd of close to 7,000 paid close to $125 per ticket to watch the final, which was a lot of money back then considering the average monthly income was $56.30, according to a Globe and Mail article.
At the time, it was the furthest west the cup had been awarded and is still to this day, Vancouver's only Stanley Cup.
Today we recognize the name on the outside of many sports shops in Vancouver, but Cyclone Taylor was unarguably the best hockey player of his time. In fact, a few chroniclers of the game would debate that Taylor earned the title of 'Hockey's Best Player' before the formation of the NHA in 1917. In total, he scored more than 200 goals in a career that spanned from 1905 to 1923.
The nickname 'Cyclone' was given to him by the Governor General of Canada after he watched Fred play. His skill was unmatched at the time. His dynamic rushes and memorable scoring feats made him one of hockey's first superstars and was one of the few players in the history of the game capable of skating backwards as fast as he could forwards. There's a story which says in 1910, he scored a goal skating backwards through an entire team.
Fred "Cyclone" Taylor is the only Honourary President of BC Hockey.
Another player to note who played with the Millionair
Duncan "Mickey" MacKay. In the hopes of advancing his career, he wrote a letter to Frank Patrick expressing his desire to turn pro. He was initially turned down, but on a hunch, Frank decided to give Mickey a shot; he signed with the team in 1915.
In his first season, not only did he win the Stanley Cup, he finished with 33 goals in 17 games and was named a first team all-star.
In 1919, in a late-season battle with the Seattle Metropolitans that turned violent, Mickey had his face slashed across the mouth late in the game, which caused a broken jaw and lost five (5) teeth. The penalized player was banned from the PCHA for life.
Prior to the 1924 - 1925 season, the PCHA merged with the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) and MacKay led the league in scoring and was named first team all-star in 1925 and 1926. The following year, the league collapsed and Mickey's contract was sold to the Chicago Blackhawks. He was the all-time leading scorer amongst the PCHA and WCHL players at the leagues demise with 290 points.
MacKay was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, played 10 games and was then traded to the Boston Bruins where he won his second Stanley Cup. He also served as the team's assistant coach and manager.
Lester Patrick was quoted as stating "he was perhaps the greatest centre we ever had on the coast. MacKay was a great crowd pleaser. He was clean, splendidly courageous, a happy player with a stylish way of going. He was one of those who helped make pro hockey a great game."
for more interesting stories from 'In the Beginning - the first 25.'
KAMLOOPS SHINES DURING WORLD JUNIOR SHOWCASE WEEKEND
The Sandman Centre in Kamloops, BC was busy earlier this month as the city hosted the first of many World Junior Championship (WJC) events taking place around the province over the next several months as we get ready to host the world at the end of December 2018.
As part of the WJC Showcase Weekend and in partnership with Hockey Canada, BC Hockey hosted a couple fun-filled events.
On August 1, 2018, Kamloops Blazers play-by-play announcer, Jon Keen, hosted a Hot Stove with national and international coaches. It was a great opportunity for attendees to hear about the game from various perspectives as they discussed coaching styles and philosophies, skill development and goaltending among other topics. The Hot Stove Panel featured Team Canada Head Coach, Tim Hunter, Steve Miller, USA Assistant Coach and Frederik Noreena, Goaltender Coach, Team Finland.
A small group of young hockey players enjoyed playing some ball hockey games with several local hockey stars. Joe Hicketts, who is hoping to land a spot on the Detroit Red Wings roster this season, brought his friends to play some friendly puck with the NHL hopefuls. Ryan Gropp (Hartford Wolf Pack/New York Rangers), Chad Butcher (Wichita Thunder), Nick Chyzowski (Kamloops Blazers) and his brother, Ryan Chyzowski (Medicine Hat Tigers) joined Hicketts.
The first game of the day saw the young players take on Joe and his friends, followed by the second game where they mixed the teams up. Following the games, all the young players had their picture taken with Joe while they were wearing his World Junior Championship gold medal and championship ring.
As the Showcase Weekend was about to wrap up, local minor hockey players hit to the ice before their idols that they'll be watching this holiday season.
Over 50 Novice to Bantam aged players were on the ice at the McAurthur Island Sports Centre for a Skills Session led by BC Hockey Player Development Coordinator, Aaron Hoffman, and helped out by Hicketts along with 1996 World Junior Champion, Jason Podollan. Celly even made an appearance!
Think it's fair to say, it's not just the temperature that's hot in Kamloops right now! Hockey is.
With some of the best U20 players from across Canada and around the world, Kamloops was buzzing with excitement for the upcoming WJC. This is just the start on the Road to the World Juniors! #REPRESENT
HITTING THEIR STRIDE: HOCKEY SCHOOL INSPIRES INDIGENOUS YOUTH
c/o Yukon News
Ecko Kirk was one of the youngest players for the women's pan-territorial minor hockey team, Team North, in 2017. Now she is one of the more advanced participants at this year's Northwestel Hockey School in Whitehorse. The 15-year-old from Haines Junction has tried other sports, but nothing else ever stuck. "I never really found the same thing that I found in hockey," she said. "It just kept me coming back."
The camp is in its sixteenth year and has brought youth together from across the territories. Some have flown in from as far as Inuvik, and others, like Kirk, are a little closer to home. In the winter, her parents drive her to Whitehorse three (3) times a week to play minor hockey with the Female Mustangs.
"Sometimes I feel like I'm a bit more experienced but . . . we're all coming to play together, we're just here to have fun with NHL players who are teaching us a lot of stuff," said Kirk, who's attending the hockey school for the first time. "It's really awesome."
Head instructor, Joe Martin, has been with the camp since the beginning. He's seen participants grow up and go on to player Junior hockey in BC as well as at the university level and for Team North. Some player have returned as youth leaders to share their love of the sport.
For some participants, being on the ice is a brand new experience. "I think there's 15 kids here from Old Crow, not a lot of them had hockey equipment," he said. "Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief, Peter Johnston went down to Canadian Tire and maxed out his credit card to get everyone hockey equipment."
Throughout the week, 120 Indigenous youth strapped on their skates and hit the ice with several notable athletes. Troy Stetcher, Wacey Rabbit and Arron Asham are just a few people who have given their time to teach the kids how to play the game.
Asham has a 15-year career in the NHL under his belt. Originally from Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, he now lives in New York and works with the Islanders running youth hockey games and camps. "I could never really afford to do these types of camps when I was young, so I'm sure these kids are excited," said Asham.
Asham learned to skate on an outdoor rink when he was three (3) or four (4). "My dad used to make a rink for me in the backyard and I started there. I'm sure a lot of these kids do the same thing," he added.
He's been teaching things like how to hold a stick, striding and shooting drills. Some youth have only been skating for a few years, and others are really talented kids. One youth could barely skate, he said, and now he's getting his stride down.
As a Metis player himself, Asham also wants to be a good role model. "(I want to) just tell them that it's possible. If you put your mind to it and do good in school and come here and train, anyone can do it," he said. "As long as they're out here having fun, smiling, that's the most important thing."
Asham has been to Whitehorse on several occasions with Indigenous NHL alumni tours, and said this won't be his last visit. "Every time I come up here it's hard to leave. I love Whitehorse. I love the Yukon. So hopefully, I'll be back soon."
Kirk plans to keep training and see how far it will take her. She's hoping to move down south and play with a Major Midget team in BC. While some Team North players have aged out of hockey school, Kirk is using her time at camp to keep getting better at the sport that keeps her coming back every season. She didn't get the call up to play on Team North this year, but she's hoping she'll get another shot in 2019.
She thinks more Indigenous youth should consider coming to camp. "We all come from smaller communities . . . There's not always a lot for youth, especially opportunities for them to be kept safe and active," she said. "If you get a chance, just do it. It's a great opportunity."
CHANGE IT UP: PLAYING DIFFERENT SPORTS IS BETTER FOR OUR KIDS
When kids specialize early in one (1) sport, they miss out on important skills and many get injured, burnout or quit. That's why top athletes and sports experts say the same thing:
LET KIDS PLAY AS MANY SPORTS AS POSSIBLE.
PLAYING MORE SPORTS WILL MAKE YOU BETTER AT YOUR SPORT.
THE OFFICIAL SHOP OF BC HOCKEY
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