PORT ALICE—This small village on North Vancouver Island may seem a bit off the beaten path, but the hockey world keeps beating a path to its door.
The beat goes on today at 4:30 p.m. when a CBC camera crew visits the local arena to tape young members of the Port Alice Minor Hockey club in a promo for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
“The kids are pretty excited,” said Doug Bondue, a coach, referee and director with the association. “We were trying to keep it pretty low-key until we found out for sure.”
The Mud Sharks, comprised of novice- and peanut-level players, were nominated for the Scotiabank Hockey Tonight Kids program by association secretary-treasurer Holly Aldis.
Their selection was announced shortly after the team’s last practice.
The recognition is the lasted in a series of honours for the hockey club in recent years. In 2008, Bondue was nominated and selected as RBC’s B.C. hockey volunteer of the year and was feted with other provincial winners by the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Two years later, Port Alice Minor Hockey was one of 10 programs in Canada selected in the
Scotiabank NHL Alumni Skills Contest. Its players were treated to an off-ice event with Trevor Linden followed by an on-ice skate with the former Vancouver Canuck standout.
“We keep telling people, there are benefits to living in Port Alice,” Bondue said with a laugh.
Because the ice has gone out at Port Alice Arena, Bondue said the visiting camera crew may have to get a bit creative. He said they may tape images in a locker room, and possibly on-ice using creative angles. The players will be in full uniform, with helmets and gloves, he said.
The team will introduce an NHL game on the pre-game show, Scotiabank Hockey Tonight, at 3:30 p.m. prior to the start of the game on April 20.
“The ‘Scotiabank Hockey Tonight Kids’ program was an absolute hit with the kids the past four years and we’re thrilled to be back ‘calling up’ even more teams from our Community Hockey Sponsorship Program this season,” said Michelle Tovstigo, Branch Manager, Scotiabank. “Scotiabank has always been proud to support minor hockey in Canada and we hope this program gives kids a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to feel the excitement of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada and what it’s like to be part of the big leagues.”