Girls breaking the ice

Youngsters are no slouches when it comes time to get serious

The third annual Icebreaker female hockey tournament is in the books, and the teams are signing up for next year.

Played out at Oceanside Place Dec. 27-29, this year’s Icebreaker featured 14 teams in four divisions ranging in age from 5-18.

The tourney, said Oceanside Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) female coordinator Sue Street, included all three levesl of OHMA female hockey — Initiation, Atom and Peewee.

The Initiation part was a jamboree style with each player taking home a Timbits participation medal.

Oceanside had two teams in the mix — the Atom Icebreakers turned in a terrific showing as they carved out a silver medal in their division, and the Peewee Icebreakers were a strong fourth.

One of the bright spots of the tournament she said was the enthusiasm of the Tri-Port Eagles, comprised of North Island players.

The highlight of the tournament was the Midget final, a marathon 3-2 triple overtime win for the North Shore Winter Club over the Comox Valley Lightening.

“It was fantastic. It was definitely a well-fought game, for sure,” she said of the game at Howie Meeker Arena.

Sue’s daughter Shayna plays for the Lightning (Oceanisde doesn’t have a female Midget team this year), and the local sparkplug earned Game MVP honours to go along with her goal in Comox’s opening game.

The Lightning are sitting tops in their eight-team Recreational Island League and won their division at the big annual Haley Wikenheiser International Women’s Hockey Festival Nov. 17-20.

Earning props for their part in the big picture was OMHA head ref Chris Herr and company.

“The referees did a fantastic job — we didn’t have a single complaint, not one, and not only that, we had a couple people comment on how strong our referee program is here in Oceanside — they told us they use our program as a model for their association. It’s impressive; our officiating program is doing a great job here.”

As for the girls, “they all played fantastic,” said Sue.

OMHA will be hosting a Pewee Recreational tournament March 17-19, a co-ed Atom invitational March 22-23, and Initiation Novice March 23-25.