It’s been a bit of a change of scenery for Williams Lake’s Tyler Povelofskie — but a change he’s loving every moment of.
Povelofskie, 15, who played his entire hockey career in Williams Lake up until this year, graduated from last year’s Williams Lake Midget Tier 2 Timberwolves to Prince George’s Cariboo Cougars of the B.C. Major Midget League for this year’s season.
“I started as a bantam last year here in Williams Lake and then about half way through the season I switched to midget,” said Povelofskie, who was in Williams Lake over the weekend helping run a Timbit hockey practice at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.
Making the leap to the Cariboo Cougars was a step Povelofskie worked for over the summer. He attended multiple tryouts and camps to earn a spot on the roster.
“There were three camps throughout the summer,” he said. “Two camps and then the third was exhibition games in Prince George and final cuts were made. After that they just said, ‘We want you to stay for the season.’”
The Cougars, coached by Trevor Sprague and Brian McLean, are currently tied for second place in the BCMML standings. To date Povelofskie, a right winger on the club, has recorded four goals and five assists in 14 games.
The Cougars’ season began in September and wraps up in March with playoffs.
“It’s a lot bigger and it’s a lot faster,” he said of making the step up. “It’s the top players from every team and they are all put onto these teams.”
The goal for the Cougars, he said, is to make it to the National Midget Championship, the Telus Cup, being held this year in Leduc, Alta.
“That’s been the goal we set from the start of the season,” he said. “I’m loving all the ice time we get. I’m just doing what I love every day.”
In addition to playing in the BCMML, Povelofskie was also selected to Team B.C. for the U16 Western Branch Challenge.
“I went to the provincial camp in Penticton and they put me on a short list with 35 names on it,” he said. “They [coaches] came and watched every single player and picked the team from that.”
The four-team tournament, held in Moose Jaw, Sask. in the last week of October, saw Team B.C. finish third.
“It was a good tournament with some really great hockey,” he said. “It was a great opportunity to show what you’ve got and also see the competition.”
This Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, the Cariboo Cougars will also attend the Mac’s AAA Hockey Tournament in Calgary, Alta. — widely considered one of the top midget tournaments in the world.
“That’s one of the biggest tourneys in the world for midgets,” he said.
“A lot of the best players [in the world] have gone through there so I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”