The Midget Northern Eagles took second in Fort St. John, with the team including Chloe Allison, Kayleigh Calder, Tegan Riley Dejong, Kathleen Piper Fordham, Reegan Haley-Dahl, Emily Korving, Haley McConnell, Stephanie McLean, Kiera Mulder, Georgia Musil, Cayman and Isabelle Oestreich, Kiera Thompson, Grace Tucker, Jillian Turko, Aspen Vassallo, Janessa Garcia, Madison Leduc, Lille Roy-Starr, Samantha Wiley, and Aleea Zubek.

Female rep hockey building in the north

Northern B.C. has two all-girl rep hockey teams this year, Midgets and Peewees

Young female hockey players are hitting the ice on all-girl Midget and Peewee rep teams this year — only the second time that two teams have been available for girls in northern B.C.

Incorporating players from Vanderhoof to Whitehorse, Yukon, the all-female rep teams are, for the first time, being officially recognized as regional teams, registered under BC Hockey rather than under the Terrace or Smithers minor hockey associations.

The Midget Northern Eagles players are mostly returning from last year’s female Bantam rep, and five players hail from Whitehorse, four from Terrace and four from Smithers, three from Prince George and one each from Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Hazelton and Fraser Lake.

The Eagles played their first tournament in Fort St. John Oct. 21, taking second place of four teams. They lost to the Northeast Predators 1-3 in their first game, but went on the beat Alberta’s Beaverlodge 6-2 and conquering Fairview from Alberta 4-0. That advanced them to finals against the Predators, where they lost 6-1 and took silver.

It was the first of four tournaments the Northern Eagles plan to play this year, with the next one in Kamloops Nov. 17-18.

Coach Darcy Allison said he coaches for his daughter, who wouldn’t otherwise get to play rep hockey. Plus, he said, it gives the girls a chance to build friendships and face off against other girls instead of always jostling in the more physical leagues with the guys.

A Northern Peewee rep team is also coming together, prompted by a female hockey weekend in Smithers Oct. 14-15, which had players Atom to Bantam, with Midgets helping out. After seeing the number of competitive Peewee players, it was agreed to form the second northern rep team.

The team’s coach, Richard Kriegal from Terrace, said they’re finalizing the roster and hope to ice the team in at least one tournament this winter. Players are from Terrace, Kitimat, Prince Rupert, Smithers, Hazelton, Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof.

It’s only been seven years that female rep hockey has been available in the north.

The first team was a Bantam rep girls team started by Terrace parents Darcy Allison, Mario Desjardins, and Randy Kasum in 2010. They mustered a roster from the small pool of girls in the minor hockey leagues of the north to form a regional team registered under Terrace Minor Hockey. They played for two years (2010-2012), and Smithers formed a Peewee girls rep team in 2012.

The Terrace female Bantams then merged into a Midget team for three years (2013-2016), before most of the core players graduated or seized opportunities elsewhere to play female hockey, such as Myah Bowal, Lauren Smaha-Muir, Wynona Creyke, Taylor Northcott, Maddie Nicholson, and Sarah Rourke.

“There’s a lot of success stories from that rep team,” said Suzanne Rourke, Smithers Minor Hockey president. “It’s super cool. Hockey has provided opportunities that wouldn’t have been there without it.”

Rourke added that once girls get a taste for all-female hockey, they tend to gravitate to it, especially at the Bantam level when minor hockey starts to allow body checking.

Last year, a younger Bantam team played a few tournaments, and this year there’s the Midgets and still-forming Peewees.

It’s not known whether female hockey will continue to develop, since numbers of players fluctuate year to year. The sport may also be affected by ringette, a similar sport which is also growing and becoming more established.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No injuries reported following propane leak in Terrace

Hwy 16 closed off, businesses evacuated as emergency crews responded

Coastal GasLink stresses pipeline ‘on a schedule’ as B.C. appoints liaison for Wet’suwet’en

670-kilometre pipeline is schedule to be completed by end of 2023

River Kings dethrone Rampage to reclaim first place in CIHL standings

Terrace is heading to Rupert rivals Jan. 31 in what will be a pivotal match for first place

COLUMN | Creating a “community of practice” inspires

Art Matters by columnist Sarah Zimmerman

Hockey puck with nails found at Terrace Sportsplex Arena

City believes it has already caused $4,000 of damage

VIDEO: As 106 reported dead from the coronavirus outbreak, countries look to evacuate citizens

Canada is warning its residents to not go to Hubei province at all

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Taxi association asks B.C. Supreme Court to stop Uber, Lyft from operating

Petition alleges Passenger Transportation Board did not take taxis into account

Majority of Canadian boards had no female members in 2016 and 2017: StatCan

Statistics Canada says 18.1 per cent of director seats were held by women in 2017

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

Most Read