OHA players to represent B.C. at National Women’s U18 Championship

Veterans, from Penticton’s hockey academy, return after winning bronze last year

Four players from the Okanagan Hockey Academy will represent B.C. at the National Women’s U18 Championship in Quebec, Nov. 1 to 5.

“We are looking forward to competing amongst the top provincial teams in Canada this year in Quebec City,” said B.C. Hockey Female Program of Excellence co-ordinator, Whitney Juszkiewicz. “Team B.C. has an experienced staff and cohesive roster with depth and hockey knowledge. The road to nationals has been a very promising journey and we look to have one of our best showings yet.”

Mikayla Capelle (Dawson Creek), Reece Hunt (Nelson), Sophie Lalor (Penticton) and Jaise Skinner (Penticton) will trade in their OHA jerseys to represent the province in Quebec City. The same tournament where Canadian Olympic team member Marie-Philip Poulin won three silver medals with Quebec in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Capelle and Hunt were both on the squad last year that won the bronze medal, the second-time in the event’s history that the province has won a medal.

Related: OHAers come back with bronze

“We are excited to have such an amazing team of players and staff heading to Quebec in November,” said Team B.C. head coach, Graham Thomas. “We are confident that this group will continue to build on the successes Team BC has experienced at the National Women’s U18 Championship in recent years.”

The tournament features eight teams from across the country and brings together the best female players born in 200 or later. It is an important platform for Hockey Canada scouts who evaluate candidates who could be invited to play for Canada at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship, as well as other international events.

“We are very proud of and excited for this group of talented young women who have been selected to represent Team B.C. at the National Women’s U18 Championship this fall,” said B.C. Hockey chief executive officer, Barry Petrachenko. “We are confident that this team will be great representatives of BC and the Yukon and look forward to their success at the tournament in their drive to improve on last years’ bronze medal finish.”

The players camp wrapped up on Oct. 1 after playing two exhibition games against the UBC Thunderbirds women’s hockey team and two against the Chinese national team.

Team BC will face Saskatchewan in their first game of the tournament on Nov. 1. Ontario Red has claimed the gold medal nine times in the event’s 10-year history, including in 2016.