The First Annual Midget “C” Scholarship tournament launched Saturday Feb. 6, at Karen Magnussen Arena in North Vancouver, with three teams from the Lions Gate league competing in a two game round robin series.
The Lion’s Gate C League is made up of members from seven minor hockey associations, Hollyburn Country Club, North Shore Winter Club, North Vancouver MHA, Squamish MHA, Sunshine Coast MHA, West Vancouver MHA and Whistler MHA.
A total of 50 players from six of the associations competed in the inaugural event; 20 from North Vancouver, 9 from Hollyburn, 7 from Squamish, 7 from Sunshine Coast, 3 from Whistler and 1 from West Vancouver.
The tournament is being hosted on ice supplied by North Vancouver Minor, Hollyburn and North Shore Winter Club.
Lisa Edginton, of Sunshine Coast and Anne Fryer, Managing Director of the Lions Gate League, led a steering committee that organized the tourney.
Edginton said the idea to run a scholarship tourney, patterned after the Midget Rep League Scholarship tournament which has been running for many years, was hatched about a year ago, and planning got underway this fall to make it a reality.
Players were invited by coaches throughout the league to participate in the tourney, which is designed to give skilled players an opportunity to play with players from other teams in a high tempo, competitive series, in their final year of minor hockey.
A MVP from each team will be awarded a $500 scholarship at the end of the series.
“A lot of the players have played rep hockey at some point in their minor hockey careers, but for various reasons have dropped out of the rep stream to play C (house) hockey. Rep team demands for time and travel are often not do-able for students playing other sports or with specialized scholastic priorities. This tournament gives these kids an opportunity to compete at a competitive levels and have some fun,” Edginton explained.
Coaches for the teams are Norm Sawers (Falcons, Hollyburn CC); Pete Sinnes (Steelheads, Squamish) and Brendan Wilson (Squamish); Darren DeRoon (Wildcats, Sunshine Coast) and Tom Drufovka (North Vancouver).
Managers included Carlone Chao (Falcons, North Vancouver); Patty Peters (Whistler MHA) and Eric Butler (North Vancouver).
Lawrence Smyth, President of North Vancouver MHA, praised all the coaches, managers, and volunteers that made it happen.
“It’s been a lot of work and there’s been a few bumps on the road along the way, but it’s come together, and it’s great to see these kids having fun and playing at a competitive level.”
Competition in game one was fast and furious, with Falcons and Steelheads tying 3-3.