To drive 10 hours and nearly 800 kilometres for an athletic competition is a tall task, especially when the drive involves a group of 13 and 14-year-old boys.
But for associate coach Kirk Hards and the rest of the Cariboo-North East (Zone 8) inline hockey team, it’s a chance to show the rest of their competition at the 2012 BC Summer Games that they’re here for gold.
The inline hockey competition at this year’s Summer Games features six teams with players from across the province, but none as intriguing as the team from the Cariboo-North East (Zone 8).
The team is made up entirely of players and coaches from Prince George. That is due to the fact that that the only inline hockey league in the region is located in Prince George.
Coach Hards says the best way to grow the game in that part of B.C. is to perform well in the tournament, and he believes his team is up to the challenge.
“Our strength as a team is systems,” Hards said. “Working as a team is going to be the reason we’re going to win; it’s not going to be because we can fill the net, it’s going to be because everybody buys into the system.”
Along with their systems, the team is also backstopped by two incredible goaltenders, Rylan Anderson and Alex Hinsche, and also has a group of very boisterous fans that Hards admits helps the team gain momentum.
“It builds momentum for the guys, and it really changes the way the kids go out there and play,” Hards said.
The team started their tournament with a 6-2 win in their first game against Fraser River-Delta (Zone 4). The team concludes round robin play with games against Vancouver-Squamish (Zone 5) and Fraser Valley (Zone 3).