Hockey players off to play at U17 Cup

Two Terrace locals have been invited to the U17 Cup in Salmon Arm, May 9th.

Two Terrace locals have been invited to the U17 Cup in Salmon Arm, May 9th.

Austin Turner and Kenneth Nordstrom are both preparing to join 120 of the province’s best under seventeen hockey players, in a bid to make the shortlist that would eventually send them to the World Hockey Challenge.

“It’s a big deal,” said Scott Westgate, one of two district evaluators for the north, which starts at 100 mile house and extends to Whitehorse.

The weekend will see all 120 players mixed into six teams for a jamboree-style tournament where evaluators will watch the players and whittle down the list to 24.

From there players will attend another tournament in Kamloops in July with 24 additional players from Alberta.

The outcome of that tournament will be another shortlist of 30 players, who will be watched throughout the start of their next hockey season for a final decision of 20 players.

These players will make up Team Pacific, and will take on teams from around the globe at the World Hockey Challenge.

Nordstrom and Turner are not strangers to the world of high-performance hockey, as both attended the U16 selection camps last season.

U17 selections are a tougher process than U16 however and evaluators have already been watching the two players all season long, prompting the invitation.

“They showed they were deserving,” said Westgate adding both players showed a high level of skill, and that’s what made them stand out.

“They have a leg up,” he said.

Turner spent last season playing with the Terrace midget rep hockey team.

“[He is] a very hard working kid with great talent, and extremely dedicated to his team and team mates,” said coach of the midget reps Darcy Allison. “His vision of the game is second to none.”

Nordstrom took part in out-of-town hockey last season as he laced up with the Cariboo Cougars, based out of Prince George.

“He did great for us this year”,” said coach of the Cariboo Cougars Trevor Sprague, noting that Nordstrom was the team’s most improved rookie player.

“He deserves to go to the U17, it’s quite an achievement.”