Players needed to keep Mill Bay hockey league alive

MBRHL is province’s longest running rec league

Attention hockey players: B.C.’s longest running rec league needs you.

After 45 years in operation, the Mill Bay Rec Hockey League is in danger of folding this fall unless a handful of new players can step forward.

According to longtime commissioner Al Johnson, the league is about six players short of being able to ice a fourth team, which would be necessary to push forward this season.

“It would be a shame,” he said. “No. 1 for the league not to carry on, and No. 2 for the young players on the other teams not to have anywhere to play.”

Johnson knows there are a lot of hockey players around who recently finished their midget careers and maybe didn’t make junior, but are still looking for a place to play good hockey. The MBRHL has always held a high standard, with several former collegiate, junior A and junior B players involved.

“It’s a highly competitive league,” Johnson said.

The league currently consists of three teams: the Bandits, made up largely of former Kerry Park Islanders junior B players; the Chiefs, who have been around since the league started with fathers passing the team on to their sons; and the Outlaws, formerly known as the Horses, who are the defending champs and have won four of the last five league titles.

A makeshift fourth team has rounded out the league the last four years, but Johnson has so far had trouble cobbling one together for 2019-20. He has five or six players for the fourth team right now, but needs at least 10 to 12 to start the season.

According to Johnson, the other teams don’t want a three-team league, as it would lead to too many games against the same teams.

Anyone interested in playing should call Johnson at 250-999-5463 or email racer33@shaw.ca. He knows you’re out there.

“I know there are a lot of hockey players out there, from midget or junior,” he said. “Or guys from Mill Bay who may want to come back and play hockey again.”

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