Players flood onto the ice at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex during last year’s Central B.C. Aboriginal Youth Hockey Tournament opening ceremony. This year’s opening ceremony goes Saturday on rink one at 1:30 p.m.

Players flood onto the ice at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex during last year’s Central B.C. Aboriginal Youth Hockey Tournament opening ceremony. This year’s opening ceremony goes Saturday on rink one at 1:30 p.m.

Sixth annual youth tourney starts Friday

Friday, hundreds of hockey players from around the province will take to the ice at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.

Friday, hundreds of hockey players from around the province will take to the ice at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex for the Sixth Annual Central B.C. Aboriginal Youth Hockey Tournament.

The tournament features initiation/novice, atom, peewee, bantam and midget divisions, with games scheduled to start Friday at 4 p.m.

Saturday, the tournament’s always elaborate opening ceremony takes place at 1:30 p.m. on rink one at the complex featuring traditional First Nations drumming and singing, while teams and players are introduced to the audience.

Sheila Kelalst Booth, president of CBCAYHT, said chiefs, city council members and dignitaries are invited to participate in the opening ceremony.

She added this year’s opening ceremony and tournament will revolve around an anti-bullying theme, “Bullying Stops Here,” and players are being encouraged to wear pink during the tournament.

“We’re looking good, and we’re really excited,” she said. “We’ve got 16 teams registered, and some pretty hefty raffle prizes this year.”

Up for raffle, she said, is an i-Pod shuffle, a Galaxy 3 Notebook, a 32-inch LED TV and a mountain bike, along with lots of door prizes.

Finals for the tournament are scheduled to take place Sunday.

Trophies will be presented to first-, second- and third-place teams, and awards will be given out for best goalie and most valuable player. Winning teams will also receive this year’s CBCAYHT hoodie, featuring a player-designed logo.

The Central BC Aboriginal Youth Hockey Sports Association puts out a call for logo submissions from youth each year to be featured on the tournament sweatshirts.

This year’s winner was Williams Lake Secondary School student Denelle Noskiye, 13, who won $150 plus a jacket with his logo. Second place went to Nesika elementary student Zion Faubert, 12, while third-place went to Rae Alphonse.

All of the logos had to incorporate a raven, an eagle and a bear, plus the tournament’s name, into the design.