Pee Wee rep hockey team going for provincial title

The Grand Forks Pee Wee rep hockey team left for provincials in Chetwynd, B.C. last week and is aiming to bring home the championship.

The team is comprised of only 12 players and while that could be seen as a detriment, head coach Shane Gorman said that his team is prepared.

“It looks like it’s going to work against you, (but) the kids are going to play more, they’re going to have more ice experience, more repetition; they’re going to be in better shape,” explained Gorman after the team’s final home practice Wednesday night.

“That’s what we’ve been working on all year.  At this level of hockey, we’ve been extremely successful with the players that we have, so I don’t think it’s either a detriment or a plus.”

He said that leading up to the provincials, the team has been working on its conditioning as there really isn’t anything new he can teach the players, other than “patience, communication and going with what they know.”

He said that the majority of the training the boys have done leading up has been dryland and they’ve only had three days off in the last 24 days.

Already with a short bench, the team almost had to go with 11 players as forward Nate Klassen suffered a wrist injury; fortunately, he had a cast put on and will play through the pain.

He suffered the injury in a recent game against Midway when he went into the boards awkwardly after a body check and Gorman said that it is a small break in the wrist.

Klassen has been fitted with the proper cast by a doctor and says he is making the necessary adjustments and was shifted to right wing from his usual centre position.

“I’m borrowing my uncle’s gloves, they’re a couple of sizes bigger, so it fits over my cast,” Klassen said.

“It restricts my movement when I take a shot and when I pass.”

With 1,201 kilometres between Grand Forks and the northern B.C. town, the boys were in for a long ride but according to Gorman, parents planned for this.

He said that most of the team would be leaving on March 17 and with a stop halfway, there was plenty of time between travel and the team’s first game on March 20, which resulted in the locals hammering the Burnaby WC 10-3. The team also beat Victoria 8-2 on Monday.

The provincials in Chetwynd end today.