The Cowichan Lake Sports Arena is home to this year's U-18 Invitational Selection Camp

The Cowichan Lake Sports Arena is home to this year's U-18 Invitational Selection Camp

B.C.’s best U18 women head to Lake Cowichan

Some of B.C.’s top under-18 female hockey players will take to the ice in Lake Cowichan this week

Some of B.C.’s top under-18 female hockey players will take to the ice in Lake Cowichan this week as the town plays host to the provincial U-18 Invitational Selection Camp at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena.

Not only will the best of the best be competing for places on the B.C. women’s hockey team, but one of them is a Laker.

Katie Ferguson, 16, started playing hockey nine years ago with the Lake Cowichan Minor Hockey Association. By the time she was 13, she began playing competitively. Ferguson’s family recognized her potential and moved her to Vancouver to play at the Vancouver City Hockey Academy, where she plays hockey and trains every day.

“When the team rosters were sent to us by BC Hockey and we saw Katie’s name we were jumping for joy,” Linda Blatchford, manager of Cowichan Lake Recreation, said in a press release. “All of a sudden this event became so much more to all of us.”

This is Lake Cowichan’s first time hosting the event, which runs from May 18 to 22 and consists of practices, team-building work and fitness testing.

Players will be evaluated on their performance over the weekend, with the cream of the crop advancing to a strength and conditioning camp and even fewer from that group moving on to the Team BC selection camp in August.

The province’s top 80 female athletes born in 1999, 2000 and 2001 were identified during the 2015-2016 season by “female high performance evaluators” and invited to attend this week’s camp, which used to be called the U18 BC Cup.

Cowichan Lake Recreation is encouraging spectators to come out and watch some of the best hockey the province has to offer and to cheer on a local athlete. Game times are May 20-21 at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., and May 22 at 8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.