The 42nd annual Minor Hockey Jamboree was Lake Cowichan’s star attraction on Jan. 20.
The day featured six different Lakers games including initiation, novice, atom, pee wee and bantam age groups, as well as a skills competition.
The skills competition, which emerged as the highlight of the Minor Hockey Jamboree afternoon featured shooting, stickhandling and skating drills designed to test the skill levels of players. The event is unique because it combines all of the age groups at once. Players were divided into White and Blue teams.
After nearly two hours of competition, the White and Blue team remained gridlocked at 9-9. In a final shootout blitz, White claimed the skills competition by a score of 10-9.
Pee wee player Nic Brown thoroughly enjoyed the Jamboree. He thought everyone from initiation to bantam to the parents and coaches had done an awesome job all day.
“It was good. Everybody did really good. It was so much fun. Having everybody in the association there and having all the little kids looking up to us was great,” said Brown.
Brown was happy to have gotten the experience to work alongside players of all ages, especially the younger ones.
“It was nice. They were actually really good and they played really well for shooting and for skating,” he said.
Lakers’ bantam head coach Calvin Convery enjoyed seeing the different age groups in action over the weekend.
“It was great. It was good to see the different skill levels and how they progress from initiation to bantams,” said Convery.
Sherri Atchison’s daughter Isabella plays initiation and participated in the skills event. Atchison thought that having younger players mingle with the more experienced ones set a concrete example.
“The kids loved it. It was neat just seeing the little ones with big kids. It’s nice to see them helping each other out. The little kids try even harder because they want to be like the big ones,” said Atchison.
Lake Cowichan and District Minor Hockey Association president Jackie Cummings said the event is one of the association’s most-anticipated events. However, Cummings was exhausted following help organize the day-long affair.
“I’m bushed. The most exciting part is over,” said Cummings.
Cummings was thrilled that the skills competition went to sudden death.
“White won but Blue usually wins so this was a nice change. It was fun to see the kids smile and laugh out there, although there was a little bit of heartbreak,” said Cummings.
Cummings said there was one main rule of the sudden death which featured a shootout style format.
“He who scores the most goals wins.”