The Canadian School Sport Hockey League (CSSHL) declared its Western Canada champions in a number of divisions over two weeks in March in Summerland and Penticton.
Formed in 2009 with five schools and eight teams with a vision “to establish a league designed specifically for elite level student-athletes”, the CSSHL has since grown to 26 accredited schools/schools with residency and 94 teams playing in eight categories of different ages. .
The league gives student-athletes the opportunity to improve their skills on and off the ice, and offers them a high level of competition and visibility.
Five players from the region celebrated a Western Canada U18 Women’s Prep Championship as their Kelowna-based RINK Hockey Academy defeated Delta Hockey Academy 3-2 in the final.
Emma Elders from Coldstream and Mikayla Blomquist from Lake Country, Jade Iginla, Alicia McDonald and Brooke Disher are members of RINK. Elders (University of Toronto), Iginla (Brown University) and Disher (Boston University) have hockey scholarships for next season.
RINK went undefeated in the division. They started with a 14-0 win over the Pilot Mound Hockey Academy of Pilot Mound, Man., then followed that up with a 10-0 shutout of the Okanagan Hockey Academy U17 team ( Vernon’s Jordan Tung is a goalkeeper with OHA U17 – they also lost 8-1 at Delta before finishing the tournament with a 6-5 win over Pilot Mound).
RINK finished the preliminary round with a 3-1 win over the Northern Alberta Xtreme and advanced to the final with a 5-1 semi-final victory over the OHA U18 team.
RINK’s U15 boys prep team made it to their divisional finals, but lost 7-3 to Delta Hockey Academy. Morgan Hackman and Hudson Kibblewhite from Vernon, and Joe Iginla from Lake Country, play for RINK. The team is coached by Hockey Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla.
Former Vernon Vipers bench boss Mark Ferner is the head coach of RINK’s U15 men’s team, which includes Coldstream’s Ollie Reid and Maxson Reed, and Lake Country’s Jake Romanov-Lataviec and Logan McAloney. The team went 0-3.
Coldstream goaltender Austin Seibel spent the season playing for the Prairie Hockey Academy U17 prep team in Caronport, Sask. Seibel and his teammates went 0-3 in their division.
Lake Country’s Parker MacDonald fits in with RINK’s U17 prep squad, which went 1-2, their only win being a 3-1 decision over Prairie Academy.
Lake Country’s Jace Harder and the RINK U16 prep team lost 7-3 to the Northern Alberta Xtreme in the semi-finals of their event. RINK qualified for the last four with a 2-1 record in the preliminary round.
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British Columbia Minor Hockey