by Michael Clouser
The Sooke Midget A ice hockey team won on Saturday February 28 against Port Alberni. This 3-0 victory was needed as the second win in the best-of-three game series. They are now on their way to the Provincial Championships in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. This championship series starts on March 15 and will run until the March 20 during Spring Break.
The Sooke Midget A Team players, all of whom were born between the years of 1997 and 1999, include #2 Kyle Berger D, #3 Dallas Brooks D, #30 Max Clouser G, #12 Ty Didmon F, #11 Nin Dougall F, #16 Tyson Friesen F, #14 Jack Kendall F, #19 Dexter Kennedy D, #21 Jaden Lawrence F, #15 Aidan Lindal D, #17 Carter Navarrete F, #1 Shawn Parkinson G, #9 Calija Philp F, Captain #12 Jonah Philip F, #18 Jared Purdy D, #8 Charlie Richardson D, and Aidan Golouch F.
Coaches this year are Kevin Berger (Head Coach), Craig Didmon (Assistant), and Nick Phifer (Assistant). The Team Manager is Bev Berger. Craig Didmon is also the Head Coach of the Victoria Grizzlies Junior A team this year as well.
The team is currently fundraising and Sooke residents are welcome to support the costs of travel and lodging which are substantial for the 15 players that are making the trip. Some will fly and others drive the 40 hour round trip in potentially treacherous weather. Please contact the manager Bev Berger with contributions. The total expense of the trip and the week’s stay is north of $30K, or $2,000 per player.
About Dawson Creek’s Encana Events Centre
The following text is an extract from the BC Provincial Championships Information Package (opens as a pdf):
The City of Dawson Creek took center stage when the Encana Events Centre opened in the spring of 2008. The EEC is a state of the art events centre designed to host numerous events including concerts, circuses, ice shows and hockey games. The facility has 4,500 fixed seats and the ability to expand to 6,500 seats. There are twenty four VIP Luxury Suites and a 250-metre indoor running track, four concessions and a 5,000 sq. ft. main kitchen. For the events, extra effort was put into ensuring that the public are comfortable. Source: Guide to the Midget Tier 3 Championships Dawson Creek
About Dawson Creek’s History
The following text comes from Dawson Creek’s Community Profile, which also appears in the aforementioned Information Package.
Long ago, the Peace River region was home to nomadic tribes of Sekanni and Beaver peoples and later, Cree.
After France surrendered Canada to the British in 1763, it was many years before the Peace River region was explored by the Northwest Company. In 1793, Alexander Mackenzie and his companions journeyed up the Peace River on their historic overland trip to the Pacific. The journey of Mackenzie changed the economic picture of this vast hinterland. His report sent Simon Fraser in Mackenzie’s tracks to establish trading posts in the area in 1805.
Two posts were established on the Peace River at Fort St. John and Hudson Hope. After crossing the Rockies, Fraser opened another post at McLeod Lake. During the 1800’s missionaries, traders and other travelers visited the area. In 1879, George Mercer Dawson, a geologist, was sent out to gain information as to physical features, possible economic importance and other advantages for passage of a railway line by the CPR. He wrote of grass up to the horses’ bellies, the hillside covered with wild asters, goldenrod, and Indian paintbrush; the deep valley soil and the native peoples. In appreciation, Dawson Creek was named for this eminent man.
However, the fur traders and the Aboriginal peoples had the country to themselves until the Klondike rush of 1898 when gold seekers attempted an overland journey from Edmonton.
Except for the British veterans after the First World War, the only colonization scheme carried out in the Peace area was the bringing of 518 people from the Sudeten area of Czechoslovakia in 1938; they settled near Tupper, 20 miles southwest of Dawson Creek.
In response to the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941, a secure land transportation link was needed by the American government to transfer goods, materials, and men from the lower 48 states to Alaska. As one part of the wartime measures, 1500 miles of road needed to be punched through northern Canada and Alaska.
On March 9, 1942, Dawson Creek, a small northern Canadian community with a population of 600 people, bustled and swelled with activity when the first train carrying American troops arrived. In a matter of weeks the town’s population exploded to 10,000. Seven regiments of American engineers 16,000 civilians from Canada and the United States, and 7,000 pieces of equipment were thrown into action against some of the toughest and most unforgiving wilderness in the world.
The Alaska Highway, once an emergency wartime road, has developed into a vital link between the giant industrial regions of the U.S. and Canada, and the natural resources of the Alaska and Yukon. But, aside from the economic aspects of the highway, it also represents a permanent monument to the resilient and enduring friendship between two great nations. On September 28th, 1996, a ceremony was held in Dawson Creek, at this time the Alaska Highway was designated as the 16th International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.” Source: Guide to the Midget Tier 3 Championships Dawson Creek
Sooke Midget A ice hockey team
Here is the team’s website
A recent video from a Tournament in Port Alberni
*Photo title: “*Sooke Midget A Ice Hockey Team crowned Vancouver Island
Champions in 2015*”
+ Photo credit: Sooke Minor Hockey Association