Six lakecity hockey players were selected during the weekend at the BC Hockey U16 Female High Performance Camp to represent the region April 13-17 in Salmon Arm to play among the top players in the province.
Roughly 80 players from 100 Mile House and north converged in Williams Lake Jan. 8-10 for both a U16 and a U14 BC Hockey High Performance Camp where they went through numerous on- and off-ice training and skill development sessions.
Following the camp, in the U16 division, players were selected to compete at April’s Provincial Identification Camp.
From Williams Lake defenceman Ali Waterhouse and forwards Sara Vermeulen, Paige Outhouse, Gabrielle Pierce and Bronwyn Pocock advanced to the next stage of the program. Fellow Williams Lake Bantam Female Timberwolves teammates Sienna Monical and Addie Cleave (first alternate) of 100 Mile House were also selected.
Coaches Ben Pierce in the U14 division and Marco Passeri in the U16 division, who helped run the camp alongside co-ordinator Kelly Call, Shane Vermeulen (U14) and Owen Thomas and Randy Riplinger (U16), were impressed by the local contingent.
“This is a great group of kids and it showed,” Passeri said.
“Last year it was a lot of these girls’ first year playing rep, and to make the step from first year playing rep, then to make a commitment to go to a higher level speaks to their character and to their ability in how far they’ve come. I was very impressed with them all.”
At the Provincial Identification Camp Waterhouse, Vermeulen, Outhouse, Pierce, Pocock and Monical will be among 120 players from throughout the province competing in a jamboree-style tournament. From there, 40 players will be chosen for a further testing camp in July.
On the U14 side of the Williams Lake camp Ben said Pyper Alexander, Dylan Passeri and Brette Kerley all performed exceptionally. Hannah Chestnut, participating in her first camp, and Clarese Cyr in goal, also turned a few heads, he said.
“I thought Pyper, Dylan and Brette had a fantastic camp,” Ben said.
“All of them were leaders on the ice as far as skill go and work ethic. During the games it was apparent to me when they were on the ice the pace of the games increased. Individually, every one of them had strong performances.”
The U14 High Performance Camp is used by BC Hockey as an introduction to its high performance program.
“It really prepares them for what the next few years might look like if they choose to go the high performance route,” Ben said.
“It’s exposure to the high performance program in preparation for the U16 camps.”
Marco said the highlight for him was watching the exhibition games on the final day of the tournament in the U16 division.
“That was the best,” he said.
“It was almost like an all-star game for that age group.”
At the U16 Identification Camp in Salmon Arm, formerly called the BC Cup, players will participate in skills sessions, games, seminars and fitness testing.
This will be the first year players will be evaluated and selected to a July strength and conditioning camp in Richmond.