Skip to content

Female hockey team makes Penticton history on B.C.-wide stage

Newly-crowed provincial champions will be honoured at an upcoming Vees game
The 2024 BC Hockey Champion, Penticton U18 Female ‘A’ South Knights: Shaila McCurdy, Alanna Main, Lauren Thompson, Lena Seddon, Addison Byer, Jiya Deol, Patience Wittenberg, Lauren Rogall, Elle Woodman-Egilson, Aivry Thomas, Kate Pinsonneault, Haraya Mitchell, Sylvie Thomas, Kaitlyn Hillson, Makayla Kenney, Abby Oakes, Charlize Ruck, Addison Turnbull, Taylor Rode. (Submitted).

For the first time in its storied history, Penticton minor hockey has a provincial champion in the female division.

Penticton’s U18 Female ‘A’ South Knights won the 2023-2024 provincial championship in Armstrong on March 24, after defeating the North Shore Avalanche 4-2 in the finals.

Makayla Kenney was credited with scoring the game-winning goal.

The team is the first local female team to win a provincial hockey championship, according to the officials at Penticton Minor Hockey. Claiming the provincial title hadn’t been accomplished for any Penticton team, male or female, since 2014, they added.

Representatives from the BCHL’s Penticton Vees said the U18 squad will be honoured before the team’s game on March 29, when they host the Trail Smoke Eaters at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

“We are extremely proud of this group of young ladies,” a statement from U18 South Knights’ coaching staff reads.

“This group continued to grow and develop over the course of the year and every time they faced a challenge they raised their level of play and achieved success. They are a very hard-working dedicated group that deserved all the success they have achieved.”

The team features players from West Kelowna to Osoyoos, and as far west as Princeton.

A 3-2 comeback victory against North Okanagan in the provincials’ semi-finals on the morning of March 24, helped the team book its spot in the finals, coaching staff shared.

The Penticton-based team also battled teams from Nanaimo and Richmond en route to winning provincial gold.

“In the end, it could not have gone better for eleven graduating girls who played their last game of minor hockey,” Craig Wittenberg, the team’s manager, wrote in an email. “The grads are capping off their minor hockey career of nine-plus years as best in the entire province of BC.”

Wittenberg was joined by Andy Oakes, Hugh Mitchell, Alana Lyle and Blair Main as team staff.

People attending the Vees’ game on March 29, are encouraged to come early and attend the ceremony honouring the U18 female squad. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.

READ MORE: Around 4,000 pounds of food banked on Penticton’s ‘Feed the Valley Night’

About the Author: Logan Lockhart

Read more