It’s a once-a-year event that involves every child that plays hockey in Lake Cowichan.
Seven teams, well over one hundred kids, and a lot of the community come out for the Minor Hockey Jamboree, and again this year was no disappointment.
All the parents who volunteer as coaches, organizers, or who just come out to watch and cheer their kids on played an important role in the success of the day.
Although the day was meant to be a fun one, there was still hockey to play, and each team played to their best ability. Some teams came away with a win, while other teams came away with a loss, but it doesn’t alter the fundamental enthusiasm the day brings to all who participate.
The first Laker team to break the ice was the Synergy Safety Novice C2, that faced Kerry Park with a 7:30 am start.
Skating not far behind them and on the ice for an 8:30 am start was the second novice team, the Professional Electric Novice C1 Lakers, who showed Cowichan Valley 4 the stuff they were made of with a 5-2 win over the visiting team.
The Lakers chalked up another win when the Royal Bank Atoms defeated the Nanaimo Atoms 7-4.
Then the Johel Group Pee Wee Lakers faced another Nanaimo team, Nanaimo 3, and got off to a strong start with three goals in the first period, one at 10:35, the second at 9:27 and the third just seconds later, at 9:13. Coach Greg Clayton said the team set the pace for the game, and kept the lead right until the end.
After four exciting games, there was time for just one more game before the Hockey Skills competition, which is always an entertaining event.
However, the Initiation Lakers — ages 4-6 and all decked out in their new Lakers’ jerseys — provided by the team’s sponsor, Tim Hortons, gave more than just entertainment and offered many good photo ‘ops’ for hockey moms and dads.
After the official opening ceremony for the jamboree, all players had the opportunity to test their ability in three areas of hockey during the skills competition. They competed in skating, stick handling and shots-on-goal against the teams’ goalies. A lot of fun and some great skills were shared before the final two games of the jamboree.
Cowichan Valley 4 Bantams were the next contenders for the BRI Security Bantam Lakers at 4 p.m. Again, the Lakers were able to keep the upper hand and came away with a 5-2 victory over their opponents.
It proved to be a little more difficult for Countrywide Midgets, however, who faced Cowichan Valley Capitals – probably the strongest team in the league according to Midgets coach Lonnie Ferguson — for the final game of the day.
Ferguson said the team struggled with some penalties for misdemeanors that cost them a lot in the first period. In the second period, they tried to focus on making up for what they lost, but weren’t able to equal the number of goals the Capitals had already racked up.
“In the third period, we let it all go,” Ferguson said. “The team just went out there to play hockey and have fun. It didn’t matter about the outcome, the main thing was to end with a good feeling.”