The B.C. peewee Tier 4 provincials are coming to town, with Golden playing host to one of the province’s biggest tournaments of the year for the first time in four years.
The tournament features seven teams, including the host Rockets peewee A team, who will have a once in a lifetime chance to compete for provincial gold. While the competition will be tough, head coach Mike Palumbo said the team is coming together at just the right time.
“We’re playing the best we have throughout the season, we’ve had such an incredible year with our kids, from where we started to where we are now,” said Palumbo.
“Just the improvement of the team and the buy-in from the kids to the coaching and to each other has been really good in the last month to six weeks. It’s set us up really well; we have a shot at it no doubt in my mind.”
The tournament will start with a banquet on Saturday, March 14, with games getting underway the following day. The tournament will last a week, wrapping up on Thursday, March 19.
Palumbo is hoping that the community will continue to show their support for the minor Rockets like they do the Jr. B Rockets by turning out to the home team’s games and cheering them on.
“This level of hockey is great to watch, it’s the true spirit of peewee hockey where it’s structured and good hockey and the kids are giving it their all each shift,” said Palumbo.
“The community has been so good this far in the process, from the hotels and restaurants and businesses and all the people combined, it’s been incredible to see.”
There will also be a Flames alumni game on Monday, March 16 at 7 p.m., which will have the Flames take on the peewee provincial selects team, which will be assembled Saturday night at the banquet by drawing three names out of a hat from each team.
The kids will have a chance to face off against NHL greats and meet some of their heroes while earning a couple of souvenirs as well.
“It’s a unique event, it’s only ever been done in Golden,” said Palumbo. “We did it four years ago at our last provincial tournament and no one else in the province has replicated it again.”
At the game, there will be a chance for a fan in the stands to win a $20,000 valued prize with a shoot-to-win contest. The participant has to shoot the puck through a small hole in a plywood board in the net from centre ice. If they score, they will be allowed to choose from either a snowmobile, ATV or side-by-side.
There will be other prizes as well, with baskets up for auction all week long containing prizes such as a jersey signed by all the Canucks, tickets to a Canucks game and a Lanny MacDonald Flames jersey to name a few.
The Golden team will play aat 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 11:30 a.m. on March 17, 3:30 on March 18 and 1 p.m. on March 19.