The U17 Northstars Hockey Academy in Williams Lake will be hosting an opening season showcase for the Junior Prospects League.
Coach Tyrel Lucas said he pitched the idea of being able to host a showcase in Williams Lake to the league at the end of the season.
He’s looking forward to hosting the three other teams and showing them the Total Ice facility and the great support from the community.
“What a cool place to play hockey and live,” he said.
Lucas said the league hosted nine showcases last year, locating them all in the bigger centres of Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
However, in theses cities, they don’t necessarily get the support from fans they do when they play here, with extended families, friends, and even some teachers coming out to watch the games and support the players here when the Northstars play at home.
“It was really awesome to see,” Lucas said of the community-wide support at last year’s games. “I’m really hoping for the same type of support from the people in their lives this time around.”
This year the Northstars roster will include players from across B.C. and the north especially, with about half the team from outside Williams Lake. Players hail from Terrace, Burns Lake, Fort St. John, Vanderhoof, Saskatchewan, Langley, 100 Mile House, and Quesnel.
Players from outside the community have now been placed in their billet homes and the team attended their first day of school and will have their first practice the morning of Sept. 7.
“We had a first meeting of the season last night and are now hitting the ground running,” said Leslie Rowse, team manager in an email about this year’s team.
For his part, Lucas will be working to get the team ready to face off on the ice against their rivals Titans Hockey Union, the team they lost to in the finals last season.
“That’ll be a big one for us and they’re looking strong again this year,” he said. Northstars will only get five practices together before the showcase and will face off against the Titans on Saturday night.
Games will be taking place at the Cariboo Memorial Complex Sept. 15-17.
Friday, Sept. 15 at 5:15 p.m., the Northstars will play the Island Hockey Club from Vancouver Island.
Saturday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. the Northstars will play the Titans Hockey Union from Edmonton and Sunday, Sept. 17 at 10:30 a.m. the team will face off against Langley.