More than 100 players from across British Columbia gathered at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena last week to battle for spots on the provincial U18 girls hockey team.
In the mix was Brooklyn Paisley of Shawnigan Lake, fresh off of winning a provincial title with the midget A South Island Royals.
Paisley was in the starting lineup for Team Purple in all three games, and opened the scoring in two of those games. After potting the first goal in a 5-3 loss to Team White, Paisley also scored the first goal in a 6-2 win over Team Blue, finishing the game with two goals and two penalty minutes.
There is a family legacy for Paisley to follow, as her older sister, Cierra, was on the provincial team in 2015. Cierra went on to play Div. 1 NCAA hockey for Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, finishing second on the team in scoring as a rookie.
Paisley wasn’t the only player with a connection to the Cowichan Valley vying for a spot on the provincial team. Ladysmith’s Hailey Martens, who plays for the Richmond-based Pacific Steelers of the continent-wide Junior Women’s Hockey League was also in contention, as were 10 players from Shawnigan Lake School: goalie Kiara Stecko (Kelowna), defenders Georgia McLellan (Kamloops), Emma Hansen (Victoria) and Taylor Northcott (Prince Rupert), and forwards Mishayla Christensen (Prince George), Gillian Moore (Merritt), Sarah Rourke (Smithers), Julianne Nelson (Armstrong), Marissa Ryalls (Brentwood Bay), and Maddie Nicholson (Whitehorse).
The top players from the camp in Lake Cowichan will return to the ice for the provincial camp at Shawnigan Lake School on July 13-16, with the ultimate goal of representing B.C. at the National U18 championships in Quebec City on Nov. 1-5.
B.C. won bronze at the national U18 tournament in 2016, the province’s best result in more than a decade.