Links In The News

Local Awards from VIAHA AGM

ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS:  June 4, 2019 – Local Sports

Alberni hockey official honoured for dedication to his sport

Isaac McDonald received the VIAHA Most Deserving Official Award (in photo).

Blake Moore received the 2019 Summer Officiating School Scholarship.


IMPORTANT – News from the 2019 VIAHA AGM

“Bantam Bulldogs Head for Provincial Championship” AV News

Bantam rep hockey team defeated Powell River in best-of-three series

Elena RardonMar. 4, 2019 Alberni Valley News Local Sports

The Alberni Valley T3 Bantam Bulldogs collected the Island District Champions banner and punched their ticket to the provincial championships with a win against the Powell River Kings on Sunday, March 3.
The Bantam Bulldogs went undefeated in round robin play during the Island League playoffs, and a win against Saanich in the semi-finals led them to a best-of-three series against Powell River for the Tier 3 banner.

The Bulldogs lost their first game in Powell River, shutout 3-0 by the home team, but bounced back at home with a 4-1 win on Saturday, March 2 and a 5-2 win on Sunday.
“They played excellent,” said head coach Wade Nicklin on Sunday. “They grinded it out until the end.”
Hudson Swann opened the scoring just 10 minutes into the first period, and Blake Moore doubled the lead with just over a minute remaining in the first. In the second period, Powell River scored one to cut the lead in half, but Alberni’s Mason Cannon added another to put the home team up 3-1.

Scoring in the third period went back and forth. Powell River added one more goal and Port Alberni added two, with Brett Bilodeau scoring once and Cannon netting his second of the game.

Alberni Valley goaltender Jake Hebert stood tall to hold his team in the game, and the Bulldogs finished with a 5-2 win.
“Jake played stellar,” said Nicklin after the game. “He was solid in the net.”
With their win on Sunday, the Bulldogs are now headed to the Tier 3 Championships for bantam rep hockey, which will be held in Port Hardy from March 17-20.

“We’ll take it one step at a time,” said Nicklin. “We’ll get a few good practices in, then go there in a good mood.”


“All Female Officiating Crew” AV News


From left to right: Avery Cole, Kylie Scott and Nicole Gagnon. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Alberni Valley hockey tournament features all-female officiating crew

The three officials went through Alberni Valley Minor Hockey program

The most recent Bryan Mason Memorial Tournament at the Alberni Valley Multiplex featured something a little unusual—a game with an all-female officiating crew.
Kylie Scott, Nicole Gagnon and Avery Cole all grew up in Port Alberni and started playing hockey with the Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association (AVMHA) at a young age. It was through the AVMHA that they picked up an interest in officiating, as well. Minor hockey players with the club can start officiating as soon as they turn 12 years old.
“I started as young as you can,” explained Scott, who is currently a student at the University of Victoria. She comes back to her hometown of Port Alberni during breaks to volunteer with the local hockey club. “I thought it was cool and wanted to try it.”
Gagnon learned about the opportunity from Scott. “I found out you could get work experience, so I got involved,” she explained.
Gagnon currently attends North Island College in Port Alberni, and strives to balance school with work and volunteering. “I try not to overwork myself,” she added.
Cole is currently a student at Alberni District Secondary School and also plays bantam hockey with the AVMHA. “I definitely like playing more [than officiating],” she said. “I play on three different teams. Sometimes it’s a lot.”
Scott, who referees in Victoria, had a chance last year to officiate at a female peewee provincial tournament in Dawson Creek. Although there are many female players involved in hockey in Port Alberni, the AVMHA doesn’t have any all-female teams yet, which made it an unusual experience for Scott.
“It was awesome,” she said. “Terrifying, but awesome. It was different, because it was girls’ hockey, and we don’t have that here. That was a really cool experience.”
Scott says she likes officiating, rather than playing, because you get to see the “other side” of hockey.
“You just get a different perspective of the game,” she explained.
Gagnon, meanwhile, says she doesn’t necessarily like one or the other more.
“I like being on the ice as much as possible,” she said. “Officiating helps you play so much better because you know more of the rules. You know what’s going to happen.”
According to Francois Warren, the AVMHA referee-in-chief, it is “a bit of an oddity” to have all three girls on the ice at the same time. On Saturday, the three of them made up the whole officiating crew for one game, with Scott acting as referee and Gagnon and Cole as the linespersons.
“It definitely doesn’t happen very often,” he said.
“Every four or five games there will be two of us on the ice,” explained Gagnon.
“But with me in school, it doesn’t really happen this year,” added Scott.
The Bryan Mason Memorial Tournament, which drew teams to the Alberni Valley Multiplex from all over Vancouver Island, ran from Feb. 15-18 and featured both a peewee and bantam recreational tournament. One of Port Alberni’s peewee teams placed third in the tournament with a 7-3 win against Port Hardy, while the other team finished sixth. Port Alberni’s bantam teams finished sixth and eighth in the tournament.

Elena Rardon Feb. 25, 2019 Alberni Valley News – Local Sports


AV NEWS: Local hockey player heads for Harvard

Kevin Rothbauer  Mar. 18, 2018 6:00 a.m.Local

Although she spent the first few years of her life in Bamfield, about 90 km from the nearest arena in Port Alberni, Maryna MacDonald still fell in love with hockey.
Her passion for the sport eventually took her to Shawnigan Lake School, and come next fall, she will be playing for the Harvard Crimson.
MacDonald knew the sport from watching her cousin, but didn’t play until she moved to the “big city” of Port Alberni at the age of seven.

“The day we moved to our new house, even before we opened any boxes, we drove to the rink and signed up,” MacDonald recalls.
She took to the sport immediately. A few years later, when she was 15, MacDonald was skating for the female midget AAA Vancouver Island Seals. Scouts from Harvard spotted her at a tournament in Washington, D.C., and kept in touch.
“It was a hell of a roller coaster,” MacDonald laughs. “Their hockey coach saw me in D.C. and scouted me. I committed to the hockey team, and from there I had to get in. Since Grade 10, I’ve been working every day to get in. To be in now is surreal.”
It was on Jan. 12 at 4:30 p.m., during practice with the Shawnigan female prep team, that MacDonald found out she was one of 900 students to get early acceptance to one of the highest-regarded schools in North America.
“She ran into the locker room and checked her phone,” Shawnigan head coach Carly Haggard remembers. “When she came back, the whole team jumped on her.”
Admission to Harvard, MacDonald explains, isn’t based strictly on grades, but on other criteria as well.
“They want to make sure you’re doing your absolute best,” she says.
That’s no issue for MacDonald, who is playing only her Grade 12 year at Shawnigan as part of the process for reaching Harvard.
“I’ve always taken school seriously,” she points out.
No one is more familiar with the route from Port Alberni to the Ivy League than Haggard, who grew up in the same city, then left the Island for Dartmouth College in 1999.
“I understand the dedication you need to play at that level,” she acknowledges.
After four years at Dartmouth, including serving as team captain in 2002-03, Haggard went on to play for the U22 national team and professionally in the National Women’s Hockey League’s Oakville Ice and in Switzerland. She also coached three years at University of Guelph, including one season as head coach.
Haggard spent three years away from the sport in Australia before she signed on as the first head coach of Shawnigan’s female hockey program in 2016. Helping players like MacDonald achieve their dreams is exactly what Shawnigan wants to do.
“The goal of our program is that anyone who wants to play in college or the elite level, to make them ready academically and athletically,” she says.
A defender, MacDonald sits sixth in Shawnigan scoring with seven points in 13 games this year. She put up 21 points on 12 goals and nine assists with the Seals last season.
“She is an amazing hockey player,” Haggard says. “Her talent, you don’t see that very often in high school. I couldn’t be happier with what she has done for our program in such a short time.”
Beyond Harvard, where MacDonald will study engineering, MacDonald is aiming for the national team. She has played with the Team BC program, which is the first step in that direction, and last spring skated for B.C. at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Duncan. Hockey Canada scouts will continue to observe her at Harvard, as well.
“Obviously,” she said, “Team Canada is always the goal.”

Maryna MacDonald (left) will follow in the footsteps of Shawnigan Lake School female prep coach Carly Haggard (right) as she heads from Vancouver Island to the Ivy League ranks next season.


(Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Di Rocco Female Team BC Assistant Coach


Di Rocco and Wood named Female Team BC Assistant Coaches

BC Hockey is pleased to announce that Dominique Di Rocco (Port Alberni, BC) and Jamie Wood (Miramachi, NB) have been named the Female Team BC Assistant Coaches, joining Head Coach Graham Thomas (Calgary, AB), that will help lead the team to the 2017 National Women’s U18 Championship, taking place November 1 – 5, 2017 in Quebec City, QC.

“Jamie and Dom bring a diverse set of talents to our coaching staff,” said Thomas. “I am excited to work together with them to lead the team in further development of the athletes as they represent BC Hockey” Di Rocco is currently an assistant coach with the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) women’s hockey team that just won bronze at the U Sports Women’s Hockey Championship. She is a former UBC player from 2008-2011. Di Rocco is also currently the Female Varsity coach with Delta Hockey Academy. She has been an assistant coach with Team BC at the 2015 National Women’s U18 Championship and an apprentice coach at the 2015 Canada Winter Games.

Wood is an Education Advisor at Vancouver Island University (VIU) and has a rich and diverse background in hockey. He has been an associate head coach with the University of New Hampshire Women’s Hockey Team and an assistant coach with the University of Minnesota’s Women’s Hockey Team. Wood has also been a founder and head coach at hockey academies in Alberta and Nova Scotia. He has an extensive education background including a law degree from the University of New Brunswick.

The 2017 National Women’s U18 Championship will bring together provincial teams made up of the best female hockey players born in 2000 or later. The tournament serves as an important platform for Hockey Canada scouts, who will evaluate candidates for the Canadian contingent that will compete at the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, as well as at other international events.

For more information about BC Hockey, please visit the BC Hockey website at www.bchockey.net or email info@bchockey.net or follow along through social media at www.facebook.com/BCHockeySource, www.twitter.com/BCHockey_Source, www.youtube.com/BCHockeySource or www.instagram.com/BCHockeySource.

For further information please contact: Keegan Goodrich Manager, Communications BC Hockey 250.652.2978 kgoodrich@bchockey.net


Brittany Savard College Rookie


A former Port Alberni hockey player was recently recognized for her achievements in collegiate hockey at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton.

On March 4, the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference announced the selection of Brittney Savard as Rookie of the Year for the 2016-17 season. Savard started her hockey career in Port Alberni and nowplays on the NAIT Ooks Women’s Hockey team. She said she was honoured with the award andintends to use her skills for her future goals.

Savard first laced her hockey skates at the age of four when she played with her older sister,Nicolette.

“I wanted to be just like her,” Savard said.

For the first few years, she played with the boys on house teams and when rep teams becameavailable at the atom level, she tried out and made the team.

“I was pleasantly surprised and I think that’s when my love for the game was born,” she said. “Sincebeing the only girl (with the exception of having the opportunity to play with Shay-Lee McConnell fora few years) on an all-boys team wasn’t easy, especially when I reached bantam level and the boysstarted to get bigger and stronger, I decided to try girls hockey.”

In her second year of bantam, she played on both boys’ and girls’ house teams.

“I fell in love with the atmosphere of feeling unbreakable bonds with my girl teammates and beingmore of a part of the team when I started playing on girls’ teams,” Savard said.

In her first year of midget, Savard made the North Island Impact A team and was made assistantcaptain. The following year she played for the Impact and was an affiliated player for the Vancouver Island Hurricanes (now Seals) AAA team. In her final year, she decided to go with the Seals full-timeand ended the season as the team’s leading scorer.

Savard graduated from Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) in June 2016 and took the summeroff to prepare for her move to post-secondary education at NAIT, for which she received ascholarship. She currently maintains a 4.0 GPA in the Personal Fitness Training Program.

“I decided the Personal Fitness Training Program was the best-suited career path for me because it isincredibly important to me to help people reach their goals,” she said. “That something I’ve alwaysbeen interested in since I was little. My ultimate goal is to eventually either own my own gymcompany or to move forward and go more in-depth with athletic therapy and learn more aboutsports medicine and rehabilitation.”

Balancing school work, hockey, additional classes, volunteering, and a social life is somethingSavard said she does with her learned time management and prioritizing skills. Her selection asRookie of the Year was based on those criteria, but particularly on a player’s overall performance.

After this semester, Savard intends to return home to Port Alberni to work and begin her off-seasontraining to prepare for the upcoming season.




Edmonton,  March 4 , 2017 – The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) is pleased to announce that Brittany Savard of the NAIT Ooks Women’s Hockey team, has been selected as the 2016-17 ACAC Women’s Hockey Rookie of the Year.

Brittany’s play this season helped lead the NAIT Ooks hockey team to a 1st place regular season finish in the ACAC.  Savard, a 1st year Personal Fitness Trainer student from Port Alberni, BC, had a 4.0 GPA during the fall term. She scored the most goals in the league by a rookie with 13, which was second overall behind teammate Carlin Boey who had 15. Brittany was also tied for 7th overall in points with 16, putting her 2nd in rookie points in the ACAC.

NAIT Ooks women’s hockey head coach Deanna Martin had the following to say about her student-athlete.  “Savard is without a doubt deserving of this recognition.  I see a bright future ahead for her with the Ooks. She is the top ranked fitness and practice player on our team and is working hard towards developing her leadership skills for a future leadership role with our program”.


About the ACAC: The ACAC is the governing body for intercollegiate athletics in Alberta. Its mission is to provide competitive collegiate sport experiences, promote academic achievement and be a leader of sport development in Canada.

For more information on the ACAC, please visit our website: www.acac.ab.ca


Local News: This girl loves her hockey

Malika McDonald, a Grade 6 French Immersion student at Alberni Elementary School, loves playing hockey so much she has written about it. - Submitted photo

Malika McDonald, a Grade 6 French Immersion student at Alberni Elementary School, loves playing hockey so much she has written about it.  — Image Credit: Submitted Photo

Written by Malika McDonald

I’m a girl, I’m 11 years old and have played hockey since I was four. We do as good as the boys, if not even better! I’m going to tell you about the boys, myself and hockey.

About a year ago when I went to a hockey camp, I was the only girl. A mom or dad phoned the person that runs the camp and said “this camp is for boys, not girls!” Then the camp instructor said “she has the right to be here she has the ability too”.

That got me so mad because I love hockey and I think it’s wrong to say girls can’t play. I love playing and hockey is my life!

I hope that girls can always play hockey if they want to.

The quote that always runs through my head is: “The bigger you dream, the better you play!”

That reminds me of the girls that play hockey before and after school.

They dream and dream and never ever quit.

If someone says girls don’t play hockey and tell me to quit I’ll just skate away.

Never quit! Do what you love and never ever let someone get in your way.

AV TIMES – AVMHA players earn Bursaries

AV Times published July 29, 2014 – MWissmath@avtimes.net – ph 250-723-8171

Minor Hockey Players Awarded With College Bursaries

Three high school graduates who played midget hockey in Port Alberni were awarded bursaries with minor hockey associations for post-secondary studies. Jorgan Thibodeau and Jordan Lavertu of Port Alberni each won $500 from the Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association. Giordano Corlazzoli of Ucluelet won a $500 bursary from the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association and $1,000 from B.C. Hockey.

All three will be studying at the University of Victoria this September.

Corlazzoli played midget rep in Port Alberni, driving the 100 kilometre distance about three times a week (there’s no arena in Ucluelet).

Corlazzoli fundraised more than $4,000 over the season for the BC Cancer Foundation through a goal drive. Parents and community members could pledge an amount per goal, from $1 to $10.

He started a personal fundraising page through the cancer foundation called Giordano’s Goals for Cancer.

The Ucluetian right winger scored a total of 14 goals in the 2013-14 season.

“I was looking to score a lot more,” Corlazzoli said, adding he aimed to score 25 goals at the start.

“We played in a higher division, but it still worked out.” Some generous donors pledged more at the end of the season to make up the difference.

Corlazzoli, who managed an A-average in his Grade 12 year, plans to study kinesiology at the University of Victoria.

Lavertu learned how to play hockey in Edmonton before moving to Port Alberni when he was still in elementary school.

He started refereeing here when he was 14 while continuing to play hockey up to the midget house level last season. Lavertu won $500 from the AVMHA.

AVMHA President Proud of Local Recipients

The Alberni District Secondary School graduate will put that bursary money towards pre-requisite courses for pharmaceutical studies.

Lavertu was surprised to hear than enrolment numbers for minor hockey are down.

“There’s really no reason why you shouldn’t play hockey,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Jorgan Thibodeau is enrolled in the engineering program at UVic with the goal of becoming a mechanical engineer. He played recreational hockey with the AVMHA’s midget team and was awarded a $500 bursary.

Thibodeau was not available for comment yesterday.

Meranda Vallee, president of the AVMHA, is proud of the players’ achievements.

“All three of them are pretty talented kids, [and] dedicated.” Vallee said.

“It’s quite an achievement for all of them.”


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Local News – AV Times – Midget Dogs win Silver

Midget Dogs return with provincial silver medals

Team advances to second straight B.C. championship final

 2014-AV Midget T3 Team-Island Champions

Two teams very far away from home met in the provincial championship final for B.C. Tier 3 midget hockey and, unfortunately for the Van Isle Ford Alberni Valley Midget A Bulldogs, gold went north west to Terrace, instead of south west to Port Alberni.

The Midget Bulldogs advanced to Friday’s provincial championship game with a 4-2 record through round robin play in 100 Mile House last week.

It was their second trip in a row to the finals – a year ago, they were able to win it all, on home ice no less.

The Midget Bulldogs were one of 11 teams competing at the provincial championship tournament.

They started provincials with a 9-0 win over the host team from 100 Mile House, but fell the next day in a 6-1 loss to Special Information Supplement Terrace.

However, the Midget Bulldogs were able to bounce back on March 18 with a 5-3 edging of North Delta.

The following day, they were back in their dominant form, beating Castlegar 9-2. That win secured the Midget Bulldogs a spot in one of the two semifinal games. However, they still had to play one more round robin game, against Dawson Creek.

Dawson Creek picked up a 5-1 win over Alberni Valley, but the game did not mean anything tangible in terms of the Midget Bulldogs reaching the medal round.

The medal round began Friday evening with the Midget Bulldogs playing their second game that day, this time against Quesnel.

Alberni, though, pulled it off with a 6-4 nail-biting win.

That put the Midget Bulldogs in the Tier 3 provincial championship game for the second time in as many years, and gave the local team, the Island champions, a chance at defending their provincial banner.

However, they could not get by Terrace, a team that was unbeaten and untied in seven games at the provincial championship tournament. The first period of the final was evenly paced and played at a high tempo, with the two teams tied at one goal each after the first period.

Terrace, though, picked up their second goal late in the second period to go up 2-1 into the final intermission.

The Midget Bulldogs could not score in the third, and gave up two more goals to fall 4-1, still earning a provincial medal for the second time in two seasons.



Local News – AV Times – Female Midgets win BC’s

Locals help win provincial championship

Five Valley hockey players, members of the North Island Impact, won the B.C. midget championship

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 Female Midget BC Champs 2014-McConnell-Savard-Clydesdale-Dawson

Five local hockey players are provincial gold medalists.

The North Island Impact wrapped up the 2013-14 hockey season with a dramatic win over two-time defending champion Richmond Ravens to capture the female midget provincial championship in Salmon Arm over spring break.

The North Island Impact consist of elite female hockey players representing hockey associations from Nanaimo to Port Hardy. The Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association has five players rostered with the Impact – Brittney Savard, Shelby Clydesdale, Sophie Vanderlee, Shay-Lee McConnell and Sarah Dawson – who contributed tremendously to the success of the team.

During the course of the season, the Impact played in five tournaments claiming two silver medals and three gold medals, including the provincial title.

At tournaments in Kelowna and Richmond to begin the season, the Impact handed the Ravens their only two losses in three years only to lose to them in the gold medal games.

Early in the new year, the Impact went on to capture gold medals in Abbotsford and Surrey, tournaments which Richmond did not attend.

The stage was set for the provincials, or so it seemed. The Impact lost to Richmond 5-3 to open the tournament, then later that night suffered another loss, this time to host team Salmon Arm 2-1. To the players, coaches and parents, after Day 1 it seemed like a disappointing end to a dream season.

After doing the math, the Impact needed Richmond to win out, which they did, by compiling a record of 6-0 to cruise into the gold medal game and earn a night’s rest before the big game to be held at 8 p.m. The Impact needed to win the rest of their games and hope for an upset or two along the way, which happened.

They defeated Terrace 3-2, Cranbrook 4-1, Surrey 3-2 and on the final morning an impressive 6-0 win over Kamloops allowed them to face a wellrested Ravens team for all the marbles.

The final game, described by B.C. Hockey as the best of the tournament, was played at a fast and physical pace.

After a quick start, the Impact took a 3-1 lead into the second period. Two powerplay goals in the second for the Ravens tied the game.

After trading great scoring chances during the first half of the third period, the Impact scored the winner with less than seven minutes remaining in the game.

Against Midget A teams from around the province this season, the team had an impressive record of 26-6-2.

– See more at: http://www.avtimes.net/sports/local/locals-help-win-provincial-championship-1.922122#sthash.Ww6jHiwg.dpuf

Local News – AV Times – Jan. 31, 2014

Playoffs begin for minor hockey

Peewee, Bantam, Midget Bulldogs teams enter into round robin play in VIAHA

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The first weekend of February means it is playoff time for minor rep hockey teams of the Alberni Valley.

Both the Bantam Bulldogs Tier 3 and 4 teams begin playoffs this weekend, as do the Peewee Tier 3 Dogs.

The Van Isle Ford Midget Bulldogs are already well on their way to getting back to provincials to defend their crown with two blowout wins to start the post season.

The Midget Bulldogs finished regular season play in last place in the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association’s Tier 1 league (two levels above their Tier 3 classification).

Last weekend, the Midget Bulldogs (Tier 3) started their playoff season down south with an 11-3 win over Cowichan Valley’s Tier 2 Capitals.

The following day, the Dogs travelled north and beat up on Comox Valley’s Tier 2 team in a 10-0 shutout win.

The Midget Bulldogs get this weekend off before playing Triport in Port Alice on Saturday, Feb. 8. They host the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies a day later at the Weyerhaeuser arena to wrap up round robin play in Midget Tier 3 playoffs.

The rest of the Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association’s rep teams begin round robin playoff action this weekend, and each is hosting a game in Port Alberni.

The Peewee Bulldogs begin playoffs on the road in Campbell River tomorrow, and at Tri-Port on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Weyerhaeuser Arena.

Playing the regular season in Tier 3, the Peewee Bulldogs had a record of 4-4-2. The Bantam A Bulldogs have just one game this weekend as they play at home Sunday at 10:45 a.m. against Juan de Fuca. They also play next Saturday in Port Hardy against Triport.

The Bantam B Dogs open up tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. for their first playoff game against the Victoria Racquet Club Kings. On Sunday, they play Nanaimo Tier 3 at Frank Crane Arena and return back home next Sunday against Comox Tier 2.

The Bantam B Bulldogs finished fourth of five teams in the VIAHA Tier 4 league with a record of 4-8-0.

News@avtimes.net 250-723-8171

– See more at: http://www.avtimes.net/sports/local/playoffs-begin-for-minor-hockey-1.808982#sthash.ZqsCIoeQ.dpuf

AV News – Alberni Takes Bronze at Bantam Tourney

An Alberni player steals the puck from his Cowichan check in the bronze medal game on Sunday. Other teams playing in the tourney included Nanaimo, Oceanside and Vancouver. Abbotsford took gold while Powell River earned silver.— Image Credit: WAWMEESH G. HAMILTON/Alberni Valley News

An Alberni player steals the puck from his Cowichan check in the bronze medal game on Sunday. Other teams playing in the tourney included Nanaimo, Oceanside and Vancouver. Abbotsford took gold while Powell River earned silver.— Image Credit: WAWMEESH G. HAMILTON/Alberni Valley News

LOCAL NEWS – AV Times – Jan. 10, 2014

Bantam girls selected to Island Under-16 squad


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Alberni Valley trio will play in B.C. Winter Games in February.

Three local hockey players will be representing the Alberni Valley on a provincial scale next month.  Sydney Dolling, Shay-Lee McConnell and Maryna MacDonald have been selected to play on the Vancouver Island girls under-16 team to play at the B.C. Winter Games in February.  Each of the girls plays with the Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association’s Bantam A Bulldogs team.

The three girls were selected after a tough weekend of tryouts from Jan. 4 to 5 in Nanaimo.  There were over 55 girls trying out, and after fitness testing, onice skills, drills and evaluation games, they were among the 18 players and two goalies selected for the team.

The girls are all born in the years 1999 and 2000.

They will now go to the B.C. Winter Games, which will be held in Mission from Feb. 20 to 23, when teams from across the province will compete in a round-robin tournament.


LOCAL NEWS – AV Times – Jan. 8, 2014

Bantam Bulldogs competitive in Classic

Tier 3 Bulldogs win bronze. Tier 4 Dogs fall in bronze medal game in annual New Year Classic tourney

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The Tier 3 Alberni Valley Bantam Bulldogs won bronze in their annual New Year Classic over the weekend, while the Tier 4 Bulldogs suffered a double overtime loss to finish fourth.

The 12-team tournament at the Alberni Valley Multiplex featured five teams in the B division and seven in the A division.

The Victoria Ice Hawks won gold in the B Division, beating the Tier 3 Nanaimo Clippers.

The Tier 4 Bulldogs started the tournament Jan. 2 with a 7-1 loss to the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies, with Ivan Cheng scoring Alberni’s only goal. Matt Ursel won player of the game for the local team.

They followed that up with a 3-3 tie against North Vancouver, as Cameron McCurdy scored twice after Isaac MacDonald opened scoring for the Tier 4 Dogs. McCurdy was also named player of the game.

In their next game, the Tier 4 Bulldogs took on Nanaimo, and this game ended in another tie, 4-4, after coming back from a 3-1 deficit.

Linden Kailer-Dore scored Alberni’s opener before McCurdy, Carter Lee and Andrew Check all scored in the second period that ended in a 4-4 tie, and neither team could score in the third.

Jayden Villafane was named player of the game for Alberni in the tie.

The Tier 4 Dogs then fell 10-5 to the eventual B Division champion Victoria Ice Hawks after falling behind 4-0 in the first period and McCurdy and Cheng also buried goals in the third. Foster Martin was the player of the game for Alberni.

That set up the bronze medal game between the Tier 4 Bulldogs and Juan de Fuca.

The Grizzlies led 1-0 after the first period, and 3-2 after the second as Lee and Hunter White got the Bulldogs on the board in the middle frame.

Juan de Fuca took a 4-2 lead early in the third, but the Tier 4 Dogs fought back with goals from Chris O’Laney and Lee. However, the Grizzlies would score in double overtime to take bronze. Jack Unwin was the Bulldogs player of the game.

The Tier 3 Bulldogs began their tournament on Friday and in the opener they beat the Oceanside Generals 6-3. Ayden Brossoit scored his team’s first goal before the Bulldogs added three in the second, on goals from Tynan Smith, Noah Fatur and Kyle Hodgson, to take a 4-0 lead.

The Tier 3 Bulldogs gave up three goals in the third, but also scored two empty net goals off the sticks of Wyatt Selva and Brossoit to seal the win, just before Colton Lloyd was named player of the game.

The Tier 3 Bulldogs record, however, fell to 1-1 after an 8-2 loss to Abbotsford in Game 2. One goal came from Brossoit, and the other from Fatur. Brossoit was named player of the game in the loss.

The Tier 3 Bulldogs got back in the win column in their next game, a 3-1 win over North Vancouver.

Connor Sabiston put Alberni up 1-0 in the first and was later named player of the game.

Colton Lloyd and Sabiston both scored in the second period before a scoreless third gave the Bulldogs the win.

The Tier 3 Bulldogs next tied the Nanaimo Clippers 3-3, giving up a 2-0 first period lead. Lloyd and Selva (player of the game) scored in the first, and Ethan Jack in the third.

That set up a bronze medal match up for the Tier 3 Bulldogs with the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

After leading 1-0 after the second period, Cowichan tied it up in the third. Sabiston and Fatur, however, propelled their team to a two-goal third period lead before an empty netter gave the Bulldogs the bronze.



LOCAL NEWS – AV Times – Dec. 31, 2013

AV Whalers, Timbermen face off

Local bantam rec teams play each other in Bryan Mason Memorial Cup tourney

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The Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association hosted four different Island bantam recreational hockey teams this weekend, in addition to two of its own, for the annual Bryan Mason Memorial Cup tournament, which ended yesterday.

The tournament was won by Comox Valley, with the Alberni bantam teams, the Whalers and Timbermen, facing each other on Monday at noon.  That game was won by the Timbermen.

The tournament is held each year at the Multiplex in memory of Bryan Mason, who died tragically in a motor vehicle accident on March 1, 2011.  Mason grew up in the Valley playing minor hockey and attended Alberni District Secondary School, graduating in 2008 before continuing his studies at North Island College’s automotive department.  He died at age 21, and his family has since contributed to three educational bursaries to date, and will continue to support education in his memory.

The two local bantam teams did not start the tournament the way they would have hoped to.

First, the Timbermen fell to Comox Valley 9-0 on Saturday. Kylie Scott was named most sportsmanship player of that game for Alberni, while Haiden Simpson won most valuable player and Skyler Quesnel-Campbell took the digger award.

Next on the ice were the Whalers for their first game of the tournament. However, they were handed an 8-2 loss by Nanaimo.  Nathan Banks and Joe McAllister scored the lone goals for the Whalers in that game, and McAllister was also named MVP of the game for his team.  Lauranna Karlsen won Alberni’s digger award, and the Sportsman award went to Carmen Sanders.

Later, the Timbermen lost to Nanaimo by a score of 8-4. Simpson had his team’s lone first period goal, and Jimmy Hassall and Quesnel-Campbell also scored in the second.  Kieran Wanner then scored for the Timbermen in the third, but they could not come close to Nanaimo in this one.  Alberni game awards went to Emily Rathbone (digger), Jacob Price (MVP) and Lauren Ivezich (sportsman).

Next on the ice were the Whalers, who were also dealt a lopsided defeat, this time to Campbell River.  McAllister scored both his team’s goals, while Jakob Gaudet was named MVP, Garrett Welsh was named the digger, and Nic Field was named the sportsman of the game for the Whalers.

The next day, the Whalers again took to the ice to take on Campbell River and were able to keep the score down, but still lost 3-1. Scott scored Alberni’s first goal, and the first goal of the game, but unfortunately for the Timbermen it was the last.

Annika Johnson (sportsman), Emma Eaton (MVP) and Wanner (digger) won game awards for the Timbermen.

In the next game of the day, the Whalers fell 7-0 to Juan de Fuca as Welsh (MVP), Tristan Clydesdale (digger) and Karlee Simpson (sportsman) took game awards for their team.

The Whalers and Timbermen took on each other in their final game of the Bryan Mason Memorial.

This one was closer than any games either of the two teams had played all tournament.

The game started at noon, and both teams played to a scoreless tie in the first period.

However, the Timbermen took the lead in the second period while killing a penalty.

The Timbermen then added another goal later in the game to take a 3-2 lead into the final period of the tournament for both teams.

In the third, the Whalers managed to get on the scoreboard, scoring two goals themselves and winning the period. The game, however, was won by the Timbermen who scored the goal they needed to beat their association rivals on Monday afternoon.

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© Copyright 2013


LOCAL NEWS – AV Times – Dec. 30, 2013

Minor hockey is heating up the ice this season

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While most Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association teams are competing in tournaments over the winter break, they all take a break from league play for the holidays.

So far this season, all of the minor Bulldogs teams are competing hard in their respective divisions, with two teams playing above their Tier 3 classifications. In Peewee, the Bulldogs are in second place in the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association’s Tier 3 league, tied with Tri Port with nine points through eight games.

The Peewee A Bulldogs have a record of four wins, three losses and one tie, with 36 goals for and 37 against. Their biggest win of the season game in a 9-2 victory over the Victoria Racquet Club’s Tier 2 squad.

Their next game is on Jan. 11, on the road against Cowichan Valley, which has a four-point lead in the standings over Alberni.

The AVMHA this season was able to dress two bantam rep teams.

The Bantam A Bulldogs are played up a division in Tier 2 and have been successful so far, sitting in third place in the seventeam league, with a record of 5-3-3. Despite sitting three points back of Comox Valley Tier 1 and two points behind Campbell River Tier 2, the Bantam A Bulldogs have two games in hand on Campbell River and one on Comox. Their last game was a 5-1 win over Campbell River.

They next play at home on Jan. 19 against Powell River.

The Bantam B Bulldogs are in third place in the five-team Island Tier 4 league with a record of 4-6-0. However, they are the only Tier 4 tam in the league. At the break, the Bantam B Bulldogs are trailing first-place Saanich by nine points.

The Midget A Bulldogs are once again playing in the Island’s top league, the VIAHA midget Tier 1 (two tiers above their classification).

However, after winning the Tier 3 provincial championship at home last season, they are not having the season they would have hoped to enjoy so far.

Through nine games, they have a record of 1-6-2. Their next home game is on Sunday, Jan. 12 against the Victoria Racquet Club.

And while the local rep teams take a break from league play, the AVMHA is hosting two bantam tournaments this winter break.

The first, the Bantam Recreational Tournament, runs from Dec. 28 to 30 at the Multiplex while the second, the New Year Classic Bantam Tournament takes over the Multiplex from Jan. 3 to 5.


LOCAL NEWS – AV Times – Dec. 18, 2013

AVMHA prepares to host three tournaments

Novice, bantam recreational, bantam rep tourneys upcoming

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School will soon be out, but local minor hockey players won’t have a lot of spare time on their hands with three tournaments this winter break at the Alberni Valley Multiplex.

Tournament season begins on Saturday with a two-day Novice Hockey Jamboree.

The jamboree features three Alberni Valley novice teams – the Blues, Devils and Sharks – and also welcomes teams from Comox and Oceanside.

The first game of the jamboree is at 8:45 a.m., Saturday in the Weyerhaueser Arena, as is the last game of the weekend, which begins at 4:15 p.m. Saturday.

The next tournament of the winter break features bantam recreational teams competing against each other at the Multiplex.

The tournament is expected to have a field of eight teams, but the out-of-town teams have not yet been announced.

However, both the Alberni Valley Timbermen and Alberni Valley Whalers will be in action over the course of the tournament, which goes from Dec. 28 to 30 at the Multiplex.

The schedule for the tournament has not yet been released. The final tournament of the winter break comes in the new year, as the New Year Classic Bantam Tournament takes place Jan. 3 to 5 and will feature bantam Tier 2, 3, and 4 teams, including the Peewee Tier 3 and Tier 4 Bulldogs teams. The rest of the field is not yet available.

Check online at www.avmha.ca for updated schedules and results from all three tournaments.


© Copyright 2013


LOCAL NEWS – AV Times – Dec. 16


Documentary created by Alberni student is ready for big debut on Thursday night

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The work the Alberni Valley Midget A Bulldogs put in last year to win a provincial championship has been matched by the effort of a group of local students who chronicled the team’s season in a documentary.

Now, after approximately 500 hours of film work over 14 months, that documentary, “Underdogs,” is ready to be shared with the public. “Underdogs” will have its world debut this Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Alberni District Secondary School auditorium on Roger Street.

“We’re finally done,” said ADSS student Nathaniel Wynans, who directed the 30-minute, all-access look at the Midget A Bulldogs.

Along with Wynans were three players who were on the team – Jesse Geddes, Connor Gagnon and Ryan Price – who helped edit all of the footage.


Alberni District Secondary School student Nathaniel Wynans is ready to debut his hockey documentary to the world on Thursday night. Photograph by: Scott McKenzie -AV Times

Local RCMP officer Scott MacLeod helped co-ordinate the film, find funding for equipment and helped film, as well.

ADSS students Arlene Oldale, Chris Banks and Lucas Bosma created custom music for the film. Andrew Quach and Chris Yeske helped run the cable camera that hung in the rafters of the Alberni Valley Multiplex during provincials.  Dario Corrazoli built boxes so net-cam footage could be used.  Matt Schmidt narrated the film, while Alex Hatt wrote the script.

“I learned a ton,” Wynans said. “I usually work by myself where I do everything, so it was cool to work with a bunch of other people and delegate a bit and get other people’s views and pointers.”

When he began the project 14 months ago, Wynans did not know what to expect going into it.

“I knew we had to follow them and tell their story, but I wasn’t sure how,” he said.

He watched the popular HBO 24/7 all access NHL series to get inspiration. According to MacLeod, the crew shot 1,400 hours worth of footage, and the team of filmmakers had to work through it all.

“We had five or six cameras going at every provincial game, and we had to cut that down to about three minutes per game for all of the cameras,” Wynans said. “We could only keep the best of the best.”

Doors are scheduled to open Thursday at ADSS at 5:30 p.m., and the debut is open to the public, with a by-donation entrance fee.

“We want to celebrate it with the community because it’s about the community,” MacLeod said.

There will also be 25 copies of “Underdogs” available for purchase during the debut. Wynans will be taking orders for more if the demand is there.

All of the proceeds will help enter the documentary in different film festivals.

SMcKenzie@avtimes.net 250-720-6174





Midget Bulldogs play big in tourney


by  Contributed – Alberni Valley News – posted Dec 4, 2013

The Van Isle Ford  Midget Bulldogs continued league play.

In mid-November, the Bulldogs travelled to Victoria to play Victoria Racquet Club. On day one, the Bulldogs came away with a 1-1 tie after some outstanding goaltending from Jessie Geddes.

Sunday saw the Bulldogs host Campbell River.  In a close game, with only one penalty for each team, the final score was 3-3.

Logan Henson, unassisted, scored the first goal for the Bulldogs, the second goal came from Codie Beecroft, assisted by Henson and Dave Friel, the third goal was scored by Ethan Sundstrum, assisted by Keagun Selva and Henson.

Bullodgs goaltender Ryan Price was solid in net.

Last weekend, the Midget Bulldogs played a league game in Nanaimo.



Bantam Dogs set for Whitehorse road trip

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Tournament connection affords local minor hockey competitive team a rare experience up north.

The next time the Alberni Valley Bantam A Bulldogs leave an ice rink, it will be colder outside than it is inside.

That is because on Thursday, they will leave Port Alberni for Vancouver before flying north to Whitehorse, YT, for a four-game road exhibition road trip.

And, weather permitting, the local team will have a chance not afforded to them on the west coast – to play in an outdoor hockey game.

The trip to Whitehorse was set up when that city’s minor hockey association came to Port Alberni a year ago for a tournament.

Playing in a remote location, competitive teams in Whitehorse annually help other minor teams with the costs of coming up north to play them to get some different competition.

The team’s fundraising efforts are paying the rest of the costs.

“We thought it would be a great experience for the kids,” said team manager Stefanie Weber.

The Bantam Bulldogs will play four games up north before returning on Sunday.

Weber said the team also has some other activities planned, such as a dog-sledding trip.

As for the level of competition, Weber said at last year’s tournament, both the Alberni and Whitehorse teams were even.  “We’re expecting them to be competitive,” she said.

The Whitehorse team is, like the AVMHA, a Tier 3 association that gets an automatic bid in B.C. Hockey provincials.

According to Weber, the Whitehorse team only plays in faraway tournaments and against local men’s teams.

Another fun perk of the trip for the players is that they will be billeting in pairs throughout the weekend, something many of them have not experienced.

It will give them a junior hockey-like experience.


SMcKenzie@avtimes.net 250-720-6174


LOCAL NEWS – AV Times – Nov. 29, 2013

Big weekend ahead for AVMHA

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Each competitive team in the Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association is in action this weekend, and there will be two home games for local hockey fans to take in at the Multiplex.

First, the Bantam Tier 3 Bulldogs, playing in Tier 2, are taking on Nanaimo at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday. The Bantam Dogs have a record of three wins, one tie and two losses, and are ranked second in their seven-team tier. Their last game was an 8-3 win over Nanaimo.

After that game, the Bantam Tier 4 Bulldogs are in action, also against Nanaimo, at 3 p.m. at the Multiplex. The Tier 4 Bulldogs have three wins and three losses so far this season and sit in third place.

The Midget Tier 3 Bulldogs are back playing in Vancouver Island’s Tier 1 league. The defending Tier 3 provincial champions are 0-2-4 this season with recent games against the Victoria Racquet Club and Campbell River. On Sunday, they are off to the Harbour City for a game against rival Nanaimo.

The Peewee Tier 3 Bulldogs are at home Sunday against the Victoria Racquet Club at 1 p.m. at the Multiplex. They are in second place in their six-team division with a record of three wins, one tie and two losses.

The Atom Development team is off this weekend, and their next game is on the road, Dec. 7 in Powell River.



LOCAL NEWS – AV Times Nov. 28, 2013


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The Van Isle Ford Alberni Valley Midget Bulldogs continued league play this last weekend. Saturday the Bulldogs travelled to Victoria to play Victoria Racquet Club.

In a great game with outstanding goaltending from Jessie Geddes, the Bulldogs came away with a 1-1 tie.

Sunday saw the Midget Bulldogs host Campbell River.  In a close game, with only one penalty for each team, the final score was 3-3.  As usual, Ryan Price was solid in net for the home team. Logan Henson, unassisted, scored the first goal for the Bulldogs, the second goal came from Codie Beecroft, assisted by Henson and Dave Friel and the third goal was scored by Jakob Bottaro, assisted by Keagun Selva and Henson.

This weekend, the Midget Bulldogs travel to Nanaimo for another league game at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30.

– Story submitted to AV Times – Published November 28, 2013   


LOCAL NEWS – AV NEWS – Nov. 14, 2013

13-AlberniValleyNews-500x50By Staff Writer – Alberni Valley NewsPublished: November 14, 2013 11:00 AM

New West wins Alberni midget tourney



The Van Isle Ford Midget Bulldogs came close but lost to eventual winner New Westminster Royals 3-2 in the semi final of the Remembrance Day tournament last weekend.

Nine teams competed in the tournament held at the AV Multiplex including Surrey, Okanagan, the North Shore and New Westminster.

Neither team scored in the first period after teams hit the ice in the Coulson Rink at 7:45 a.m. Monday.

The Bulldogs drew first blood in the second period on a goal by Ethan Sundstrum. Matt Irg would notch another goal in the second but that was it for Alberni scoring.

New Westminster came back to tie the game with one goal in the second period and another in the third period.

In overtime, New Westminster’s Jesse Gastaldo scored on the power play with seconds left to take the game and advance.

New West beat Okanagan Hockey Academy 3-2 in the final


LOCAL NEWS – AVTimes – Nov. 13, 2013

Midget Bulldogs fall in semifinal

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In a tournament they hosted this weekend, the Van Isle Ford Alberni Valley Midget Bulldogs fell to the eventual champion New Westminster Royals in the semifinal.

New Westminster narrowly defeated the Okanagan Hockey Academy 3-2, after needing overtime to beat Alberni in another 3-2 win.

In the semifinal Monday, the Bulldogs were up 2-0 after a first period that went scoreless and a second period that saw both Ethan Sundstrum and Matt Irg score for Alberni.

However, the Bulldogs could not sustain the lead and gave up a New Westminster goal early in the third, and another with nine minutes left before the game went to an extra frame.

The overtime period was played three-on-three and with 35 seconds left, Jesse Gastaldo scored for New West, propelling his team to the tournament’s championship game.

Alberni started the tournament by first steamrolling the Cloverdale Colts 10-1, and then soundly beating the Powell River Kings 6-3. Against Cloverdale, the Bulldogs had just a 1-0 lead after the first period on a goal from Sundstrum. The Bulldogs offence then scored three goals to Cloverdale’s one in the second period. Sundstrum got things going with his second of the game, but Cloverdale was able to cut the Bulldogs lead in half, soon after.

David Friel gave Alberni another two-goal lead with his first of the game before Sundstrum completed his hat trick before the period ended.

The Bulldogs went on to score six goals in the third, with credit to Friel, Codie Beecroft, Gio Corlazzoli, Brad Cowan, Logan Henson and Jakob Bottario.

Sundstrum also opened scoring with an unassisted goal against Powell River in his team’s second game of the tournament.

Powell River, though, led 2-1 after the first period, but could score only one goal in the second while the Bulldogs scored three.

Friel, Sundstrum and Keagun Selva all found the back of the net and the Bulldogs led 4-3 after two.

Cowan and Sundstrum scored the third period’s only two goals and the Bulldogs won by three.

The fun ended, though, when the Bulldogs faced OHA in their third game when they lost 7-2. Cowan and Friel had their team’s only two goals in the loss.

SMcKenzie@avtimes.net 250-720-6174