Aldergrove’s Midget A1 team is headed for the provincial hockey championships next week.
The 16 boys, aged 15 to 17, and coaches are elated with the victory at the Final Four games in Aldergrove Arena last weekend.
It was a challenge but the team came together, following a rough start when they moved up into Tier 2 play at Christmas.
The team opened the Final Four with a 1-1 tie with Vancouver Minor, followed by a 5-3 loss to Mission. However, their 4-3 win over North Delta ended the series and qualified them for the provincial championships in West Kelowna from March 16 to 21.
The team is coached by Scott McCarthy, assisted by his sons Kyle and Merk, and Lyall Sharman is team manager.
In related news, Sharman says the International Friendship Hockey Tournament is coming together. This event is coming to Aldergrove Arena for the second time this year, on March 15 to 24. Aldergrove Minor Hockey has participated in the tournament since it was founded.
It will be a massive undertaking, as there will be 182 youths, with 11 teams from six countries playing at the bantam and peewee levels. There are 55 games planned and the focus is not on winning but rather fostering friendships.
About 60 homestay families in Aldergrove will be hosting the visiting youngsters, with each family hosting a minimum of two youths who are paired for the stays.
Community businesses and families have been very supportive of the tournament, and numerous activities have been organized.
Special events include a Friendship Hockey Tourmanent night at the Abbotsford Heat home game on March 23 that will have 500 guests from Aldergrove attending.
There is also an auction at the Aldergrove Legion on March 21 and a banquet and dance, already sold out, at Langley Banquet Centre on March 21.
Sharman says 23 Aldergrove families have already signed up to participate in the 2015 tournament, which will be hosted by New South Wales in Australia.