Peewee Female Timberwolves defenceman Emma Koster goes for the puck during a double-header with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on the weekend at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex where Koster potted her first goal of the season. The team is off to Wickfest this weekend, a female hockey festival hosted by former Team Canada star Hayley Wickenheiser. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

EDITORIAL: Game on

Williams Lake is a hardcore hockey town. There is no doubt about it.

From well before sun up until way past sun down, hockey players of all ages make their way down the tunnel at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex (CMRC), and to the dressing rooms to put on their gear, strap on their skates and hit the ice.

For those of you not familiar with the CMRC, there are two ice sheets and nine dressing rooms which serves upwards of 500 minor hockey players ranging from four to 18 years old. It is a crowded place!

For the 2019/20 season, WLMHA has fielded about two dozen house teams as well as one atom development team, three peewee rep teams, one bantam rep team and two midget rep teams.

On any given weekend from October until March the arena is buzzing with activity as volunteer parents and coaches are up before the crack of dawn to play and host multiple-team tournaments, exhibition games, house games and rep games which bring literally hundreds of families into the community on a weekly basis.

There are also many more hockey players in the adult recreation leagues, playing late into the night.

After the 2017 wildfires we saw first-hand how our community was united and uplifted by hockey during the Rogers Hometown Hockey stop in January, 2018. Of course, we are also home to NHL netminder Carey Price, who supports many youth by supplying hockey gear to non-profit organizations.

Volunteers who help the players both on and off the ice can attest to the positive difference the sport makes on our youth every day.

WLMHA volunteers have also been working hard to grow Canada’s game with our girls, which is why the sport is growing by leaps and bounds locally with four all-female teams this year in midget rep, peewee rep and two bantam house teams.

This is why we think there is no better community than Williams Lake to nominate in the Kraft Hockeyville competition.

Every January residents across Canada have the opportunity to submit a nomination that details their community’s passion for the game for a chance to win $250,000 in arena upgrades and an NHL pre-season game. At or near the top of the list, locally, would be to allocate at least some of those funds for dressing room upgrades.

The last time B.C. won the competition was in 2016 at the Pat Duke Memorial Arena in Lumby We think it’s our turn. Head to krafthockeyville.ca to submit your nomination for CMRC.

Nominations close Feb. 9.

-Williams Lake Tribune

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