All-girls hockey tournament takes over Pearkes arena Thanksgiving weekend

Nine teams in World Girls Hockey Weekend tourney

The 2017-18 Saanich Braves peewee girls team, hosts of the World Girls Hockey Weekend at Pearkes, Oct. 5-7. Submitted

In the midst of an ongoing debate about the best strategy to support girls youth hockey on the Island, the World Girls Hockey Weekend is a no-brainer to promote the game.

This weekend Saanich Minor Hockey Association is hosting an all-girls hockey tournament, the World Girls Hockey Weekend, featuring more than 135 peewee and bantam players on nine teams from Langley, Seattle, Oceanside (Parksville), Cowichan Valley, Peninsula and the host Saanich Braves.

The teams will play 20 games over the course of the weekend but will also take part in a national event called “the Long Game,” said Ian Fleetwood, director of female hockey for SMHA.

The Long Game is a continuous game of hockey coordinated by Hockey Canada and B.C. Hockey. It is played hour-by-hour beginning in Newfoundland and Labrador and culminating in Victoria. Hockey Canada will track the cumulative score from coast-to-coast with live updates on its website.

All tournament players will get a chance to skate in the Long Game, which runs Saturday from 4 to 5:20 p.m. at Pearkes Arena.

Barry Petrachenko, CEO of B.C. Hockey, will host a ceremonial face-off with a special guest and an appearance by Marty the Marmot.

The tournament medal games are Monday (Oct. 9) at 12:30 p.m. for the bantam bracket and 2:30 p.m. for the peewee bracket.

Follow the Long Game results through the social media hashtags #LongGame and #WGIHW.

reporter@saanichnews.com