BC HOCKEY Newsletter
January 11, 2018
In This Issue

Kelowna, BC
January 12 - 14

Kelowna, BC
January 12 - 14

Kamloops, BC
January 13 - 14

Duncan, BC
January 20 - 21

Various Locations
January 14 - 21

Vancouver, BC
January 25

Cranbrook, BC
January 27

Victoria, BC
January 28

Vancouver, BC
February 3

Kamloops, BC
February 3

Prince George, BC
February 9

Langley, BC
February 9
In Other News
Allan Bristowe Named Manager, Programs for BC Hockey Regional Centre-North

The Canadian Tire First Shift Program

Second 2017-2018 Major Midget League Showcase to be Held in Kelowna
Upcoming Deadlines

Male Program of Excellence Region Camp Registration
March 15

There are currently no applications available at the moment.

If your Association has any postings you would like included in next month's newsletter, please email them to info@bchockey.net.

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?

Please send your story/event to info@bchockey.net .

Happy Hockey!

c/o CHEK News

Kenn Shaw's fan cave began as a 10x12 foot room with nothing more but a passion for hockey. Over the next three (3) years, Shaw would collect broken hockey sticks, memorabilia and make his own creations to build the fan cave, with some of hockey's royalty on display.

Kenn used over 1,700 sticks to create the entire floor of the fan cave and has made picnic tables, chairs, canes and even birdhouses out of broken sticks. The area is complete with six (6) TV's, quite possibly the world's biggest table hockey set. an outdoor ball hockey arena and some unique creations made out of hockey equipment. Shaw holds the fan cave very close to his heart.

c/o BC Local News

With three (3) generations of hockey players now in the family and a cross-Canada connection to the game, Williams Lake's Blaine and Donna Flett can proudly say the sport has been an integral part of their lives for decades. Growing up in New Brunswick, Blaine played hockey for Harkins High School in Miramachi and was part of a team that won a provincial championship during his grade 12 year in 1959-1960.

Their two (2) sons, Aaron and Jason, both have careers playing and coaching hockey at a high level and, now, Blaine and Donna's six (6) grandchildren are enjoying the game that has helped tie the family together for years.

When Blaine and Donna moved to Williams Lake in 1966, it just so happened they purchased a home directly across the street from the old hockey arena in Williams Lake on Fourth Avenue. It didn't take long for Blaine, a high school teacher by trade, to get involved with minor hockey in the city.

"After Harkins High, I went on to play at Mt. Allison University, played a couple games of Major Junior, then went to an National Hockey League (NHL) tryout camp held in Moncton one spring, but when I came here I got into the coaching aspect of the game," Blaine said.

Blaine's foray into coaching began just a few short months after his arrival in Williams Lake when some of his students were complaining one day they had no team to play for. "They were Midget-aged players," he added. "So, myself and Fred McMechan, we went over to the arena one night and took over the team. We were called the Williams Lake Spurs back then, and we started the first team in 1968."

"I coached probably five (5) or six (6) years when we first came here, then got into business, and then picked it right up again when Jason and Aaron started hockey." Aaron was born in 1971 and Jason in 1975. "When they started, I probably coached 15 to 18 years altogether."

Aaron played minor hockey in Williams Lake up until his Bantam season, before focusing on school sports. He'd later return to hockey after finishing university and moving to Prince George where he's now on the executive with the Prince George Minor Hockey Association (MHA) and has four (4) boys - Adam, 15, Braden, 13, Cole, 8, and Devin, 5 - all playing the game.

"He's coached all the way up," Blaine said. "He was volunteer of the year for the Prince George MHA two (2) years ago and he's still coaching with all four (4) of his boys still playing."

Jason, meanwhile, also ascended the ranks of the Williams Lake MHA's rep divisions before deciding in grade 11 he wanted to try his hand at a high level of hockey. That year, he enrolled at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan and, subsequently, played for the Notre Dame Hounds hockey team. He later moved on to play university hockey at Augustana in Alberta.

"After he graduated from university, he later on settled in 100 Mile House with his two (2) boys, Kai and Xander," Blaine said. "Jason's now coached several divisions in 100 Mile House, probably for about nine (9) years."

Blaine's grandson, Kai, is now a goaltender for this year's Williams Lake Bantam Timberwolves as there was no team for him to try out for in 100 Mile House this year. Blaine hasn't missed a practice or a game - home or away.

But it was Donna, throughout the years, who has always been the glue that held the family together, Blaine said. "That first couple teams we coached, we'd have an early morning practice and all the boys would come over to the house," Blaine recalled. "Donna would make a huge feast of pancakes for the kids, and they'd be on their way."

"We spent a lot of time in hockey rinks over the years," Donna added. "We'd drive 20 hours to watch Jason play in Saskatchewan. Even last season when Kai was playing in 100 Mile House, Blaine would make the drive south every Tuesday to watch his grandson practice - sometimes not arriving back home to Williams Lake until midnight.

"I still haven't missed a practice yet, and I haven't missed a game. We go up north to watch the other grandkids play, and we've just done so many things in the sport and spent so much time with minor hockey, it's a way of life."

c/o The Williams Lake Tribune

As we all know, hockey isn't just for boys anymore.

Female hockey has seen a steady climb in the number and calibre of players coming out to compete in Canada's favourite game over the years, and that includes Williams Lake where the efforts of some very dedicated coaches and managers have created a competitive female hockey program other towns would envy.

"The girls want to succeed the same as the boys. They want to win the same as the boys and they're just as aggressive, it's just people don't see that. They don't appreciate that the girls want to develop just as much as the boys do," said Troy Weil, who along with fellow coach Roy Call have carved out a path for girls to be competitive in hockey in Williams Lake. "Roy and I did it together. We went through the struggles at the grassroots level," added Weil, who along with Call are both hockey dad to daughters.

At first the two (2) were up against a lot - misconceptions about female hockey, keeping numbers up to form teams year after year and political issues, such as equal ice time. 

"Some people weren't on board with it but it sure has worked out well. We have a Bantam rep team; we've got the Midget reps and the female Atom house team." 

Weil said when his daughter started playing hockey he was just happy she enjoyed the game. Then the team started talking about forming a rep team. "That year we lost a lot of games, the second year we won a few and by the third year we were competitive."

Since then, Weil has stepped back from coaching the female team but he still shares his knowledge of female hockey locally and even provincially with BC Hockey and is very proud of the level of the team coming out of Williams Lake. "The last years we've had one of the top teams in BC from our little town of Williams Lake. There's some pride there for sure."

For coach Call, he wanted his daughter and other local girls to benefit from the many life lessons learned while on the ice. 'I want the girls to get a chance to learn that if you work hard you will do well, and if you want to excel at anything, whether that's sports or school or relationships, if you work hard, positive things happen. Sports has been a great way to teach that and hockey is the sport I like the best," said Call, who, as the Female Midget Timberwolves head coach, has sights set on winning gold when Williams Lake plays host to the BC Hockey Championships this March.

Call said his team has built a solid reputation over the years for their competitive edge and they have no trouble finding teams who want to play them. "They know we're going to be competitive, we're tight-knit and we can play in our hometown. We are incredibly fortunate," added Call, who also credits the past efforts of Mike Grace and the more recent efforts of Jen Loewen, who has helped to develop the younger players.

"We've been able to help by keeping it going year after year. We've been able to keep pushing and pushing and keep the numbers up and be flexible with our rosters so that we can play every year."

This will be the last year Call's daughter will play for the Midget team, and Call isn't sure what he'll do next year, but he still has a greater vision for competitive female hockey in Williams Lake.

"I would really like to find a way to keep a Senior female team here, there is a league similar to the Stampeders who play around the province and I'd love to bring a team like that here."


Nine-and-10 year old hockey players raised thousands of dollars for the BC Children's Hospital through a tournament held in the Okanagan. The fourth annual Winter Classic Hockey Jamboree raised more than $26,000.

The young hockey players competed on an outdoor rink at Apex Resort, near Penticton.

"This event started four (4) years ago and has gained more momentum every year, raising respectively $10,000, $17,000, $24,000 and now $26,462.75, for a total of over $77,000," spokesperson Yannick Lescarbeau said in a press release.

"The success off-ice is due to the commitment of over 120 players and their families, who all came together as a group to support the BC Children's Hospital Foundation and its patients while using hockey as a common ground," he added.


c/o Vancouver Girls Hockey

When Halle, Catherine and Hazel, three (3) of the Vancouver Female Midget A players, were in Pee Wee, they had the opportunity to attend an autograph session with the University of British Columbia's (UBC) women's hockey team. One of the UBC players they met was Haley Voytechek - who now, several years later, is the head coach of the Vancouver Female Midget A team.

This past October, Halle, Catherine and Hazel got the exciting opportunity to play with Voytechek and her Senior A Women's team, the Island Surge. The Surge compete in the South Coast Women's Hockey League (SCWHL), a competitive women's league that has teams throughout the Lower Mainland, as well as on Vancouver Island and in Kamloops. The league currently provides the highest level of women's Senior hockey in BC.
"It's great to be able to play competitive hockey after finishing playing for the Thunderbirds," Voytechek said of playing in the SCWHL. This is her fifth season in league, her first being in 2013. The Midget A girls each played several games with the Surge, who were in town from October 20 - 22, 2017 for a weekend of away games.

At first Voytechek did not know that she would be playing along side some of the girls that she coaches. The request for the Surge for affiliates came in shortly before their first game of the weekend, and after the BC Hockey registration process was completed, the Vancouver Female Midget A manager Barry Garfield notified Voytechek.

"Haley replied back, 'Hey that's my team!'," said Garfield. "With a couple hours to spare, the players were on their way to Langley to play their first game, all a little nervous knowing they were going to be on the ice in a Senior female rep game along side their head coach."

The three (3) Midget A girls played well and enjoyed the experience, as it gave them an opportunity to compete at a high level and, as Hazel said, "to get a feel for the level of the Senior A league." Voytechek was pleased with the performance of her players as well.

"Playing with some of the girls was a good experience for both myself and the players," she said. "They were able to compete with the team and against some girls who have played post secondary hockey. I am sure the girls got a sense of knowing that they too can continue playing hockey after their minor hockey career."
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