CeeBees atom team bound for Ottawa

Will par­tic­i­pate in in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

It is go­ing to be a mem­o­rable Christ­mas break for the 17 young hockey play­ers in the Con­cep­tion Bay North re­gion.

A group of CeeBees mi­nor atom play­ers in Har­bour Grace will be trav­el­ling to Ottawa for the Bell Cap­i­tal Cup on Dec. 27-Jan. 1.

The high pro­file tour­na­ment fea­tures atom and pee­wee aged ath­letes from all over the globe.

This year’s com­pe­ti­tion will fea­ture some 310 teams from dif­fer­ent parts of Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. There are six teams from Fin­land, two from Ja­pan and one each from China, Ger­many and Aus­tria.

In fact, the tour­na­ment was once the largest mi­nor hockey tour­na­ment in the world and shone the spot­light on as many as 510 teams in 2007. In its 15th year, the tour­na­ment is backed by the Na­tional Hockey League’s Ottawa Se­na­tors and was con­ceived as a com­pet­i­tive and house league tour­na­ment.

“The ex­pe­ri­ence for the play­ers will be great,” said coach David Kennedy.

The CeeBees are reg­is­tered in the ma­jor atom A di­vi­sion. The team will play six to eight teams, with some com­ing from dif­fer­ent parts of the world.

“They get to play in dif­fer­ent are­nas and, pos­si­bly teams from dif­fer­ent coun­tries,” said Kennedy.

Should the CeeBees make it to the cham­pi­onship game, it will be played at the Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre, home of the Se­na­tors.

Another as­pect that is sure to ex­cite some play­ers on the squad will be trav­el­ling to Ottawa by plane.

“Some of them have never done that be­fore,” he said.

Play­ers will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in a skills com­pe­ti­tion at the Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre, take in a Se­na­tors prac­tice, as well as par­tic­i­pate in pin trad­ing ses­sions with the other teams.

High cost

The cost of the tour­na­ment is steep for the CeeBees. The trip, in­clud­ing air­fare, tour­na­ment fees, ho­tels and trans­porta­tion is close to $40,000, or $2,350 per player.

The group has some 55 peo­ple, which in­cludes the 17 play­ers, six coaches and par­ents and sib­lings.

The CeeBees have been do­ing a num­ber of fundrais­ers to help cover the cost of the tour­na­ment.

“Enough par­ents ex­pressed in­ter­est and it took off,” said Kennedy.

Off-ice ac­tiv­i­ties

The group has plans to see some of the na­tional land­marks that ex­ist in Canada’s cap­i­tal city.

“We will be vis­it­ing the Na­tional War Mu­seum, Par­lia­ment Hill, as well as other sites while in Ottawa,” said Kennedy.

There is hope that the team will be able to skate the Rideau Canal Skate­way, but it may be too early.

Tra­di­tion­ally, the canal does not open un­til Jan­uary.

“We will be go­ing to the wave pools,” said Kennedy. “Chil­dren love wa­ter, frozen or just warm.”

The group is also hop­ing to catch one of the two Se­na­tors games oc­cur­ring while they are in town.

Kennedy said plans for the trip were not re­vealed to the play­ers un­til ev­ery­thing was con­firmed. But, when it was it was hard to con­trol their en­thu­si­asm.

“The play­ers are ex­cited,” said Kennedy.

Sub­mit­ted photo

This group of CeeBees mi­nor atom play­ers will be trav­el­ling to Ottawa, On­tario for the Bell Cap­i­tal Cup on Dec. 27-Jan. 1. Mem­bers of the team are: kneel­ing (l-r) — goal­tenders Ai­den Ho­gan and Den­ver Neil; seated — Adrian Green, Ri­ley Shute, Chris­tian Rear­don, Kait­lyn Pike, Ben Ryan and An­drew Tay­lor; mid­dle — Cameron Byrne, Ryan Jones, Matthew King, Joshua Kenedy, Ri­ley Green, Reid Deer­ing, Ka­dyn Coombs, Hunter Saun­ders and Ni­cholas An­tle; back — coaches Doug Tay­lor, Char­lie Deer­ing, Neil Shute, Nick Saun­ders and David Kennedy. Miss­ing from photo is coach Randy Rear­don.

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