This Remembrance Day weekend SEAPARC is going to be transformed into the mecca for girls’ hockey.
Coming from all over Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, 18 girls’ atom, pewee, bantam and midget teams will pile into the arena for the 13th annual Female Fall Face-Off Tournament. Taking a cue from the pros, something new has been added for this year.
“The best skaters from every team (are going to participate) in an NHL-type skills competition on the Friday,” said Sebastien Tremblay, director for the tournament.
There will be three categories in the competition: accuracy, speed and puck handling.
Action on the ice will be happening Thursday, Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday 6 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“It’s mostly to help female hockey. There wasn’t many tournaments before, it was one of the first on the Island,” said Tremblay. Now, players and families are “pretty much filling up that whole new hotel,” he added.
All the girls from Sooke Minor Hockey will be in attendance, as well as a team from Kelowna and five teams from the mainland. The games played don’t count toward their regular season records, but teams will be playing for medals all day Sunday with the gold medal matches for all divisions happening from 12 to 6 p.m.
Fans can expect really good hockey, especially from the midget-age girls who play in the late evening, said Tremblay. Sooke girls teams have traditionally been very strong, with one of the highest per capita enrollments in the region.
“Thirty per cent in Sooke Minor Hockey are girls. It has to do with the people organizing it.”
Tremblay is one of those people — his daughter plays on the Sooke atom girls team that he also manages. He pointed out that some much bigger municipalities, like Saanich, don’t even have an exclusive girls league but rather a coed system with boys and girls mixed teams.