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Total team effort, discipline carries Cowichan Valley C1 to hockey tournament title

Seven players receive memorial awards for outstanding attributes

The combination of discipline and skill level carried the Cowichan Valley C1 Capitals to the championship of the Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey Association’s Memorial Under 18 Hockey Tournament on the Family Day weekend.

Coach Colin McDougall’s team went undefeated during four round robin and two playoff games while keeping penalties to a minimum that also brought bonus points.

“Every player stepped up in a huge way throughout the weekend,” he said.

Cowichan Valley C1 doubled Langley 6-3 in a battle of undefeated teams Sunday night at Fuller Lake Arena. Easton McDougall, the coach’s son, led the way with a hat trick.

Tournament games were split between Fuller Lake and the Cowichan Community Centre Arena in Duncan, with 10 teams competing.

The tournament honours seven families who have lost loved ones over the years under tragic circumstances, with special awards presented to worthy players on behalf of each one.

“It was tough emotionally the first year, but now I look forward to the tournament every year,” noted John Andrews, one of the honouree family members who lost his son Zak. “I get to take pictures, see old friends and watch hockey. It reminds me so much of Zak when he was playing midget.

“Zak’s championship banner is hanging on a wall in the arena with some of his ashes so I like to think he gets to watch the games, too. I will tap the banner every time I pass.

“There is a warm kinship with the other families in the tournament and I am thankful the Clarks have allowed us to join their hockey family. As well as the committee that puts this tournament on every year, they treat us and the tournament with such respect.”

“I think it went well and everyone had a good time,” said Kathy Irving, the head of the tournament committee.

The tournament concept commands a certain respect, although not everyone got the message. Colin McDougall certainly had his guys buying in and kept a tight reign on their focus.

“It’s an emotional weekend,” he indicated. “There’s obviously a lot of history to it. I always have a fear of losing a child and I can’t imagine the process anyone goes through.”

Playing clean hockey was just as important as the end result for McDougall.

“I’m really happy,” he said. “I think we were one of the least penalized teams throughout the weekend.

“It’s the coach’s job to teach discipline,” McDougall added.

Sometimes that doesn’t result in popular decisions being made, but necessary to stay the course, he conceded, even with the team’s best players.

“If you allow them to get away with things, they’re going to take it and run with it. The game is supposed to be played the right way. Whoever shows up and plays the game within the rules, that’s who plays.”

Kathy Irving and her main committee members Dale Irving, Kristen Arnold, Petra van Deventer and Kirstin Marshall did their usual tremendous job in handling all aspects of the tournament, sometimes under difficult circumstances.

“We didn’t have injuries and for the most part, everybody played,” said Kathy Irving. “The timing was fine.”

It takes a great deal of work to put on a tournament of this nature and she acknowledged the efforts of other important people.

“I just want to thank my volunteers, of course, the referees and the people that came out to support us.”

Cowichan Valley C1 topped the Pool A standings with a perfect 12 points followed by Cowichan Valley C2 (9), Semiahmoo (6), Sooke (5) and Port Hardy (4).

Langley also managed 12 points to lead the way in Pool B followed by Victoria (8), Cowichan Valley C4 (6), Ridge Meadows (6) and Cowichan Valley C3 (3).

Langley defeated Cowichan Valley C2 and Cowichan Valley C1 beat Victoria in the semifinals. That led to Cowichan Valley C1 becoming the first local team to claim the championship in 10 years since the early days of the 12-year-old tournament.

Related story: Winners all-around during a memorable hockey tournament

Family members were on hand to present the unique individual awards.

The Paige Whitelaw Award for most sportsmanlike player went to Grayson Toole of Cowichan Valley C1; Parker Jubenville of Cowichan Valley C1 was the recipient of the Ryan Clark Award for most outstanding goaltender; Sooke’s Taylor Reinsch won the Christina McLeod Award for player with the most passion; Owen Papineau of Cowichan Valley C3 earned the Zak Andrews Mr. Personality Award; Taegen DeGroot claimed the Caleb Kroffat Award for the player with the most character; and Port Hardy’s Nolan Smith and Emma Clair received the Brayden Gale Award for player with the most heart and Eric Kernachan Karny Award for most fearless player, respectively.

Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
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