Girls fired up to play

Penticton hosting 16-team female hockey tournament

Penticton Vees forward Shannon Robinson reacts to this high stick from Lillooet player Sheridan Kelly during action in the recent bantam girls hockey game at McLaren Arena. The first place Lillooet squad blanked the hosts 4-0. Penticton will be hosting a female tournament this weekend.

Penticton’s Fire on Ice Female Hockey tournament hits the ice Friday,

Sixteen teams in the novice, bantam, midget recreation and midget representative divisions will play at Memorial Arena, McLaren Arena, the South Okanagan Events Centre and the Okanagan Hockey School Training Centre rink.

Shawn Black, coach of Peaches Lingerie midget rec team, said his group is excited to face teams in B.C. they don’t normally see in the North Shore Winter Club and Tri-Cities.

“This gives us a chance to see how our girls stack up against the teams from the coast,” said Black. “We expect the teams from the Lower Mainland to be strong and that they will be challenging and hopefully exciting games for our girls. My players are looking forward to playing teams that they haven’t played before (North Shore Winter Club and Tri-Cities), and they are looking forward to playing in front of their friends and family.”

Coming into the weekend with a 9-0-0 record in the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association, Black said his group is hoping to win the tournament. Black said the best part about the weekend is it will showcase female hockey to the community.

“It gives us a chance to raise the profile for female hockey locally,” he said, adding that this tournament really demonstrates the great support the female hockey program has in the community, especially from businesses.

Andy Oakes, coach of the novice Light Blue team, said this will be a great opportunity for his players to learn and develop in a competitive environment.

“Most of all for them it is about learning and having fun,” he said. “The girls love playing the games and are really looking forward to playing four games in a short period of time as we have had a number of weeks without games.”

Oakes also wants to see the players learn to be good teammates.

“It is always good at this age for them to be able to take what they have learned and developed in practice and be able to put it into a game format and see how much they have improved,” he said.

For Penticton’s female prep team, its their first tournament of the season. Coach Shawn Carter said it will be good for his players to get in several games over the weekend.

“They always get excited about their home tournament,” said Carter, whose young team is having a good season with a 3-5-3 record in OMAHA play.

“We haven’t seen any of the teams that are coming,” said Carter, whose squad opens the tournament against the Langley Lightning Friday at 6:45 p.m. in the SOEC, then face the Calgary Chaos Saturday at 9:30 a.m. in Memorial Arena and the Prince George Cougars at 2:45 p.m. in Memorial Arena.

The midget rec final is Sunday at Memorial Arena at 10:30 a.m. with the game for third at 1 p.m.

The novice team plays its first game Friday at 3:45 p.m. in the SOEC against Kelowna Red. On Saturday they face Kamloops in Memorial Arena at 8:15 a.m. and play Kelowna Blue in the OHS at 11:45 a.m.  Their final game is Sunday against Kelowna Red in Memorial Arena at 7:30 a.m.

Peaches Lingerie starts the tournament against the NSWC Friday at 5 p.m. in the SOEC. Their second game is Saturday at the OHS at 6:30 a.m. against Tri-Cities then face Kamloops in Memorial Arena at 1 p.m. The midget rec final is at 10 a.m. in McLaren Arena, while the game for third is at 8:45 a.m. at Memorial Arena.

The midget rep team opens against Langley Friday at 6:45 p.m. in the SOEC, then host Calgary at Memorial Arena at 9:30 a.m. and take on Prince George at 2:45 p.m. at Memorial. The final will be played at 10:30 a.m. at Memorial Arena and the game for third is at 1 p.m. also at Memorial Arena.