Island hockey jamboree

Young hockey players cap off busy but fun tournament schedule

Oceanside Place played host to its third and final spring break minor hockey tournament over the weekend with more than 300 youngsters taking to the ice for the love of the game. Above

Oceanside Place played host to its third and final spring break minor hockey tournament over the weekend with more than 300 youngsters taking to the ice for the love of the game. Above

The face of the future of Island hockey was all smiles and concentration as more than 300 kids on 22 teams converged on Parksville over the weekend for the 2013 Oceanside Initiation/Novice Jamboree.

“It went really well — there was lots of good reviews,” former pro golfer turned hockey mom and novice jamboree coordinator Shelly Stouffer from Nanoose Bay said when it was over.

The tourney was for players aged five-nine from as far away as Maple Ridge, Port Hardy, Port McNeil, Comox, Cowichan, Victoria, Port Alberni, Campbell River,and Nanaimo.

The tournament was divided into two divisions — Initiation for the young ones (they played a two-day tournament of half-ice games) and the Novice group which had a three day event. All teams played four games. There were roughly 80 Oceanside kids in the mix — four teams in the Novice in two in the Initiation.

It was the third and final spring break minor hockey tournament played out at Oceanside Place, and the energy at the rink and on the ice said it all.

“They were great,” said Stouffer, who has two kids playing hockey — one in each division, and agreed a good many of the youngsters showed really good wheels and looked right at home on the ice.

“It’s crazy how fast they skate, some of them are amazing,” she said. “It’s pretty good hockey and they’re totally having fun; especially the younger ones, they don’t keep track of the score in their games; they just love going out there, skating around, and trying to get the puck.”