With no other opponents available, the Lake Cowichan School senior hockey team turned to the junior A Cowichan Valley Capitals for some friendly competition.
Renewed for the 2016-17 season, the junior Lakers hockey team had just completed their slate of games, but the senior team hadn’t been able to see any action. School principal and hockey coach James Doyle conspired with Cathy Schmidt, a trustee for School District 79 who also works with the Capitals, to bring the junior team to the Lake.
The Caps make regular visits to the school to play other sports — they had previously beaten the LCS girls volleyball team at that sport — but the hockey team was up for a similar challenge.
“We threw down the gauntlet,” Doyle said.
The entire school population packed the arena for the Feb. 23 game, along with many other community members. The Caps loaned their goalies to the Lakers as well, swapping Lane Michasiw and Adam Marcoux halfway through the game.
In the end, the Lakers managed to keep things close, and lost to the playoff-bound junior A team by just two goals.
SD79 operations manager Monroe Grobe, who calls Lake Cowichan home, served as the referee for the game.
“It was lots of fun,” Doyle said. “They were good sports about the whole thing. They probably weren’t trying as hard as they could.”
Doyle is hoping to turn the event into an annual tradition.
“We’d love to have it every year, if they’re willing,” he said.
The Lake Cowichan School junior hockey team was revived this year as part of a Valley-wide program that included teams from Chemainus and Cowichan secondary schools as well as Brentwood College School. An Island-wide high school league was also started for the 2016-17 season.