Novices have a blast

Players had fun while improving their skills during novice recreation tournament

JACE SHUTTLEWORTH of the Penticton Orange Crushers couldn’t quite grab the puck with his glove and it found its way in the net against the Kelowna Gang Green. Below

Fun.

That three letter-word was the focus for Penticton novice recreation teams as they hosted a tournament last weekend.

Trevor Aubie, coach of the Penticton Blues, said his team played well as they won two of their four games.

“I wanted to see my players have a lot of fun, work together as a team, and never give up,” said Aubie. “I believe they did just that.

“The highlight of the tournament for me was defeating Langley 2-1,” said Aubie. “They had a very strong team and thanks to some great defensive play from our guys and huge saves by our goalie, we were able to come out with the win.”

Penticton Black Bandits coach Chris Danby wanted his players to work hard and keep improving.

“We matched up pretty well with Lumby (a 6-4 loss) and had a very good game,” said Danby, whose team lost 12-2 to West Kelowna, 9-1 to Abbotsford and 14-0 to Semiahmoo. “The other three teams were significantly stronger with a higher number of experienced eight-year-olds.”

Danby said the highlight for them was the goaltending of Ben Coombes, Nathan Preston and Shaila McCurdy.

“Despite the lopsided scores, the kids remained positive and went out and worked hard every shift like it was a 0-0 game.”

The Penticton Orange Crushers went 1-3-0 with  their lone win against the South Okanagan Minions.

Coach Scott Panov wanted his players to gain experience in the first tournament.

“It was a team building opportunity for the boys to get to know each other,” said Panov.

The Orange Crushers’ three losses were against the Kelowna Blackhawks, Winfield Bruins and West Kelowna Gang Green.

“They had a great time,” said Panov, adding that they enjoyed playing after having several practices.

The tournament featured 16 teams, including the Abbotsford Hawks, Blackhawks, Lumby Stars, Semiahmoo Snipers, Minions, West Kelowna Thunder, Kelowna Beast, Langley Wolves, Princeton Posse, Summerland Jets, Gang Green and the Bruins.

This weekend Penticton hosts a peewee Tier 2 tournament featuring West Kelowna, Kamloops, Port Moody, Vernon, NVMHA, Salmon Arm, Langley and Burnaby. Click here for the schedule.