Three Parksville girls will represent the area on the under-16 Vancouver Island Hockey team at the B.C. Winter Games in Mission in February.
Ashlee Barner, Katy Downey and Blayre Paddock made the roster of 20 from a field of 60.
Paddock, 14, was one of six goalies looking for a spot. She plays on a boy’s bantam team in Comox and travels regularly to goalie camps and training sessions.
“It feels pretty amazing to make it again,” she said of her second year in a row on the Island team.
“It’s a lot of hard work to get there but it feels really good. We had a great bunch of girls but we didn’t get the results we wanted last year,” Paddock said.
For Ashlee Barner, turning 14 in a few weeks, and Katy Downey, 14, it’s going to be an exciting time. The duo play together in the Oceanside bantam girls’ league and are looking forward to the chance to represent the Island and playing on a line together.
“I’m really excited to make the team,” said Downey, who plays forward. “It’s my first time trying out and to make it is really awesome.”
“It’s exciting. I’m happy to make the team on my first time trying out and to be able to play together is going to be fun,” agreed Barner.
“It’s good because we know how to play and work with each other already so hopefully we’ll get to play on the same line.”
The B.C. Winter Games feature athletes from B.C. Hockey’s Female High Performance Program. The U16 program is the second step, building on the U14 program which introduces on- and off-ice skills and focuses on high level competition.
The winter games run Feb. 20–23 with 18 sports and a range of athletes from age nine to 40. This is the first time that Mission has hosted the event.
Vancouver Island is one of eight zones and will compete against: Kootenays, Thompson-Okanagan, Fraser Valley, Fraser River-Delta, Vancouver-Squamish, North West and Cariboo-North East.