Terrace Minor Hockey’s flagship tournament, the third annual Cliff Sharples Memorial Peewee tournament is on this weekend, with six teams from the northwest competing for the top spot.
Last year’s champions, Dawson Creek, won’t be returning this year, giving the Terrace Kermode Pizza Hut Peewee Reps an even better shot at the title.
The team’s prospects are looking good this year, said team manager Kevin Marleau.
“We’ve got a pretty keen bunch,” he said. “They’re all hardworkers and big on hockey. We feel pretty confident with the team we’ve got this year, we think they can do some special things.”
The tournament was founded in honour of Cliff Sharples, who was involved in Terrace Minor Hockey in a big way from the 1970’s to the 1990’s. He’s best remembered as the head coach of a group of players who won the AAA BC Provincial Championships on three separate occasions and sent two players to the NHL. Terrace’s Mario Desjardins, a big supporter of minor hockey over the years who just recently took a position in Prince George, was also on that team.
“Pretty incredible, what Cliff did with that group of players back then,” Marleau said. “It’s a big tournament for us. He was kind of legendary, so that’s a big part of it and something we try to get across to the kids. We’re honoured to play in the tournament and to host it.”
And while what Cliff did is “almost inconceivable” nowadays, the players on this Peewee rep team have potential.
“We’ve got a really good group of kids,” he said, noting that this group played together in Atom development and won a Tier 2 tournament in Richmond. “There’s been sort of a feeling throughout the years that this particular group could go somewhere, so this is sort of their first kick of the can this year in rep hockey together.”