Fraser Valley ball hockey players heading for golds

The local league’s champions will go to the provincials.

While attention of many hockey fans has been focused on the Stanley Cup playoffs, a different kind of hockey is moving towards its own championships in Langley and the Fraser Valley.

The Valley Ball Hockey Association has had a season of growth, and teams are now prepping for the Gold Medal Games on June 16.

Valley Ball Hockey has been operating in Langley and Abbotsford for many years, with players ranging in age from 19 down to just four years old.

“My boys started when they were four years old,” said league president Craig McDougall.

Now they’re 16 and 19 and still playing in the league, he said.

The spring league has a short season, and is slightly less aggressive than traditional ice hockey, McDougall said.

They accept players of any skill level, and are a “fair play” league that is aimed at making sure everyone gets an equal opportunity to play.

“We really try to stress to everyone… that it really is about fun,” McDougall said.

That said, players grow in skill quickly in the league, McDougall said.

And the youngsters look forward to their big championships, which are coming up soon.

There are 16 regular season games, held in the ice arenas in Aldergrove and at the George Preston Recreation Centre, and in Abbotsford.

Then there are four playoff games in June, followed by the Gold Games.

On June 16, the teams will meet at the George Preston Rec Centre arena.

The association’s top teams in every age range, from Tyke to Junior, will take part in a series of games to determine the championship.

There are plenty of teams taking part – there are about 72 teams spread across nine divisions in the Valley area alone.

Play will continue into the late hours of the night until the winners have been crowned.

Their reward is to head off to the Provincial Ball Hockey Tournament, to be held June 28 to July 2.

The Valley teams will face off against squads from Victoria, Metro, Surrey, Ridge Meadows, Tri-Cities, Delta, and Richmond for the title of best in B.C.

The league has been growing. In 2017 there were just over 1,000 players across the various teams and ages, but this year there were 1,130.

Though most of the players are boys, there has been a recent shift in the numbers.

“We had an influx of female players join us,” McDougall said. “We’re a co-ed league.”

This year, 60 girls signed up, including four onto the team McDougall himself coaches.

“All of them are an absolute blast,” he said.

Right now, Valley Ball Hockey organizers are looking forward to next year, when they’ll have a new venue to play in.

“Really looking forward to that new arena in Aldergrove,” McDougall said.

 

Just Posted

Tardi and team playoff bound in junior curling worlds tonight

Friday night Team Canada’s men’s team faces off against Norway, hoping to secure a spot in the finals

Langley’s Hong takes silver in Winter Games vault

The Langley athlete completed a tricky move in competition to clinch the podium.

Injured nurse back in the saddle after horse riding accident

Keya Milaire has been recovering from an accident that occurred on May 24.

Virtual reality comes to Aldergrove

The library hosted a “Virtual Reality Day” Thursday as a part of a strategy to promote tech-literacy.

Portable heaters caused spike in Chilliwack fire calls

Check on heaters to make sure they’re not too close to combustibles, Chilliwack Fire officials say

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

Most Read