The upcoming Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association’s midget house tournament has been renamed in memory of coach Jeff Alexander. (Photo submitted)

The upcoming Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association’s midget house tournament has been renamed in memory of coach Jeff Alexander. (Photo submitted)

Beloved hockey coach honoured through memorial tournament

The Jeff Alexander Memorial Midget Hockey Tournament starts this Friday, Feb. 7

The Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association (WLMHA) has named its annual midget house tournament in honour of long-time WLMHA coach and volunteer, Jeff Alexander.

The Jeff Alexander Memorial Midget Hockey Tournament starts this Friday, Feb. 7 at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.

Tournament organizer Amber Camille said the memorial tournament name came about after player Ethan Smid approached his dad, WLMHA executive member Corwin Smid, asking if the association was doing anything in memory of Alexander.

Camille said Alexander was a dedicated coach to WLMHA and highly respected person, loved working with youth and had a passion for hockey. In 2017 Alexander was named coach of the year.

Read More: ‘Jeff was doing what he loved’

“With that combination it was perfect to honour him at the home midget tournament,” said Camille.

Alexander died this past summer in a boating accident off the coast of Bella Bella.

“It was such a shock to everyone and a tremendous loss for our community,” Camille said.

Ten teams will round out the draw, including visiting teams from 100 Mile House, Salmon Arm, Lillooet, Kamloops and Mackenzie, plus hosts the Williams Lake Grizzlies, Williams Lake Rope Rippers, Williams Lake Goon Squad, Williams Lake Blue and Williams Lake Red Ravens.

Games get underway Friday afternoon at 2:45 p.m. between the Grizzlies and 100 Mile House. The last game Friday starts at 8:30 p.m. before play resumes Saturday morning at 6:15 a.m. between the Rope Rippers and the Lillooet Pistons.

Games then stretch throughout the day Saturday until the final game of the day at 7:30 p.m. between the Red Ravens and the Kamloops Hurricanes.

Playoffs begin Sunday starting at 7:30 a.m.

The gold-medal game is slated to take place at 1:15 p.m.