Sports

Tourney paves paths for minor hockey

Doug Sharples hands a silver medal to Payton Fekete from the Terrace peewee rep hockey team, Oct. 23. Terrace took second in the eight-team tournament after losing 8-2 to Quesnel. - Janine Workman
Doug Sharples hands a silver medal to Payton Fekete from the Terrace peewee rep hockey team, Oct. 23. Terrace took second in the eight-team tournament after losing 8-2 to Quesnel.
— image credit: Janine Workman

It was a second place finish for the Terrace peewee reps Oct 23 at the first-ever Cliff Sharples Memorial tournament.

Eight teams from across the north met to play rep hockey in a tournament that was special to Terrace and the Terrace Minor Hockey Association (TMHA) because it was the first of its kind in decades.

And Terrace took second place in the tournament. The gold medal match was against Quesnel, on Oct. 23 at 11:15 a.m., where Quesnel capitalized on a strong third period to take the game, and the tournament win, 8 – 2 in the end.

“The tournament went extremely well,” said one of its organizers, Rory Reinbolt.

He explained they accomplished the three things they set out to: recognize Cliff Sharples and his contributions to minor hockey, have interior teams compete within the Skeena Valley Hockey League and make sure all of the travelling teams enjoyed their visits enough to come again next year.

Generally hockey players from Terrace and their families spend countless hours and dollars travelling to other destinations to take part in tournaments similar to this one.

And despite some stress due to road closures, all of the teams arrived and games went ahead as planned, said Reinbolt.

Both of Sharples’ sons, Jeff and Doug, participated in the tournament with Jeff dropping the opening puck and Doug handing out the silver and gold medals to the winners.

“I think it is amazing the amount of work that has been put into this,” Jeff Sharples said, praising the work of organizers Reinbolt, Kevin Kennedy and the TMHA.

Sharples said at the event that his father would have been absolutely thrilled with what is going on in Terrace over the weekend.

Cliff Sharples was a longtime contributor to local hockey, putting in countless hours as a coach and president of the TMHA as well as bringing a group of players to peewee, bantam and midget provincial gold.

Former Terrace hockey player and current head goalie coach for the Winnipeg Jets Wade Flaherty also contributed to the event – sending in a signed Winnipeg Jets jersey to be auctioned off.

“We had several comments from visiting teams about how much they enjoyed the banquet,” Reinbolt said. “All in all the tourney was a success.”

He explains the Cliff Sharples tournament will take place again next year, and the TMHA was looking at how this tournament went to consider hosting rep tournaments at the bantam and midget levels as well.

“So hopefully this (bantam and midget tournaments) will occur next year and we will be able to attract more interior teams.”

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