Cariboo Canucks set to host first home tournament

The Cariboo Canucks Hockey Club will host its first-ever Cariboo Canucks All-Native Hockey Tournament Dec. 28-30.

The Cariboo Canucks Hockey Club will host its first-ever Cariboo Canucks All-Native Hockey Tournament Dec. 28-30 at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.

Cecil Grinder, member of the Canucks and tournament organizer, said there will be four divisions — a competitive, a recreational, a 40-plus masters and a women’s division — in the tournament.

“This is the first time we’re going to be hosting something like this,” Grinder said. “We’ll be the host team in each division — the Williams Lake Longhorns in the masters, the Williams Lake Coyotes in the recreational division and Williams Lake in the women’s division, plus the Canucks in the competitive.”

The Cariboo Canucks normally have to travel around the province to find tournaments, so Grinder decided the idea to host one locally could be a big success.

“We’re sort of modelling it after the tournament we go to in Vernon every year in the spring,” Grinder said.

“But I’ve had lots of interest in each of the four divisions.”

Tentatively, Grinder said, there will be eight teams in the competitive division, six teams in the 40-plus masters division, four teams in the recreational division and four teams in the women’s division.

The competitive division will feature a double knockout format, while the other three divisions will feature a three-game guaranteed round robin.

Competitive teams will also be vying for a big chunk of price money, as the first-place team will walk away with $2,500 cash, the second-place team $2,000 and the third-place team $1,500.

For the other divisions first- and second-place teams will be awarded tournament T-shirts.

“I’m getting pumped,” Grinder said, noting the tournament should also provide a great opportunity for people to get together over the holidays.

“I’ve got teams all the way from Fort St. James, right up to Fort St. John, Kamloops, Merritt — I’m getting tons of calls about it,” Grinder said.

Grinder added entry fees must be paid by Dec. 21.

For more information on the tournament contact Grinder at 250-305-6600 and/or at 250-267-2189, or by e-mail at itsgoodmedicine@hotmail.com.

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