The Saanich Braves and the Victoria Ice Hawks used to be competitors, but will now run under the same team name and logo (File contributed/Gordon Rufh)

Victoria and Saanich minor hockey leagues amalgamate

The Ice Hawks and the Braves are coming together to form a new association

Victoria and Saanich hockey players have acted on something the two municipalities have been discussing for years: amalgamation.

The Victoria Minor Hockey Association (VMHA) and the Saanich Minor Hockey Association just voted to come together under one group. The joint group will still be called the Victoria Minor Hockey Association, but expand its catchment to take on all Saanich players.

This will bring total membership up to approximately 850 players.

ALSO READ: All-female hockey association hits the ice in Greater Victoria

“We want to be able to pool our resources to provide a better product to our family, but at the same time keep it affordable,” said Nicki Reich, vice-president of the VMHA.

Reich explained that costs were getting high for Victoria because they didn’t have enough players to cover the ice fees, while Saanich was having scheduling troubles at its two rinks.

“It was really just a logical thing that we have the ice and they have the players to help pay for it, so by pooling the resources we can do a better job of producing an on-ice product.”

ALSO READ: Victoria Minor Hockey Association looking to make girls fall in love with hockey

Reich also said that she hopes that keeping costs low will make room for more families to join the teams, with players ranging in age from 5-19.

The VMHA will now have to pick a new team name and logo, dissolving the Victoria Ice Hawks and the Saanich Braves.

“We want to start off on the right foot and create a cohesive culture in between the two by having a new, shared identity,” Reich said. “I think it’s gonna get more people excited about the new season.”

Team members and families were invited to submit their ideas until April 10, before a selection committee and the new VMHA board decide on the top options. For more information, you can visit victoriaminorhockey.ca.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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