Five Williams Lake hockey players are representing Team BC this week at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.
Cory Loring, Chase Dubois and Daine Dubois are playing for the Team BC boys, while Tamara William and Ruthie Jackson are suiting up for the Team BC girls.
The tournament, which kicked off May 1 with an opening ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, is being held in Mississauga, Ont., throughout the week, with the final scheduled for Saturday, May 7.
The tournament provides an avenue for elite First Nations hockey players from across the country in the bantam and midget age divisions to showcase their athletic abilities while fostering cultural unity and pride.
For Loring, who played his last season with the Williams Lake Midget Timberwolves and plans to suit up for the Chase Heat of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League next season, it’s his first time competing at the tournament.
Loring is from the Tsilhqot’in Nation, and is a member of the Anaham (Tl’etinqox) community. He’s also the grandson of famous Chilcotin bronc rider Lawrence Elkins Sr.
“It’s always an honour to represent your province in any sporting event,” Loring said. “You’re not only representing your province but your home town, family and friends, so it’s pretty special and I’m looking forward to this week to help my team bring home a gold medal.”
Daine, who played for the Cariboo Cougars of the BC Major Midget Hockey League last year, echoed Loring’s comments, and said it’s an honour to represent B.C.
“Nothing short of gold will be a disappointment and we prepare just like any other game,” he said. “[I’m loving] the opportunity to travel to such a cool place and do cool things.”
For Chase, who joined his younger brother on the Cougars last season, this is his second year at the tournament.
“I went to Halifax last year where we won a bronze medal, and it means a lot to play for your province at a national level,” he said. “We have had a couple of practices as a team and our only goal will be to come home with gold. Being in Halifax was amazing but being in Toronto has been just as fun.”
The tournament features two pools of four teams for the round robin portion. In division one are Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Eastern Door and North. Division two features Alberta, B.C., North and Atlantic.
Loring, Chase and Daine helped Team BC to an 8-1 hammering of Atlantic in its opener Monday, then followed it up with a 2-1 edging of Alberta in its second game.
On the girls’ side B.C. lost its first game, 3-0, to Manitoba.
Loring, Chase and Daine, aside from visiting the HHOF for the opening ceremonies, then swinging by Jurassic Park to witness the Toronto Raptors knock off the Indiana Pacers in game seven of the playoffs, attended the Toronto Blue Jays game against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday evening.
For more on the tournament visit the Tribune’s website at www.wltribune.com or check our Facebook page by searching “Williams Lake Tribune.”