The long weekend was hot and torrid inside the confines of the Art Holding Memorial Arena in Chase, as the community-based Heat Junior Hockey Club held their main camp.
From the morning of Thursday, Aug. 2 to Sunday, Aug. 5, more than 90 hopefuls displayed their talents for watchful coaches, scouts and fans. The young athletes from throughout B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, received a ton of ice time.
Many family members tagged along with the hopefuls, the Shuswap being a magnet for summer fun. Sunburns were mixed with sweat and exhaustion.
For those hesitant to send their young men off to Chase, the weather and hospitality convinced them it’s ‘the’ place to play Junior B hockey.
City slickers were informed of the advantages of their sons playing in a small town with the abundant ice time, adoring fans and huge community spirit. Where else can you hit the ice, hit the water, play a round, attend a festival and be in a parade all in the same day?
Happy campers stayed with friends, or in cabins, motels, rv’s and billets.
The Heat may have discovered a new gold rush of talent in the large contingent of participants from the Cariboo.
With legendary coach Brad Fox’s assurance, the hopefuls stayed on task from his opening remarks to the game by game events. A few unlucky individuals found out what happens when you stray from the rules. Months of preparation by Fox ensured that all necessary details were taken care of for those attending.
So what’s next? The lucky “hot products” were invited back to pre-season just three weeks away. Final decisions will be made as to who fills out the 23- player roster then.
Lackadaisical veterans may find themselves on the outside looking in as the competition for the small number of jobs was fast and furious.
The Heat has learned a lot from its first year in the KIJHL and that knowledge will bring players of ability and good character who want a tremendously worthwhile experience.
Watch for more on upcoming Junior A and B exhibition games and a golf tournament. Summer has warmed up and so has the Heat.