Vision (Canada) - - La Une - GREGG CHAMBERLAIN

RO­CK­LAND | It’s not lis­ted as an of­fi­cial team but there will be a strong Ro­ck­land pre­sence of sorts on the other side of the coun­try du­ring the of­fi­cial ope­ning of the Ca­na­da Winter Games in Prince George, B.C. For sure, the name of the lo­cal ho­ckey aca­de­my may get ban­died about a fair bit du­ring the ho­ckey matches ta­king place du­ring the Games.

Staff and stu­dents at the Ca­na­dian In­ter­na­tio­nal Ho­ckey Aca­de­my (CIHA) may soon be fin­ding ex­cuses to cut classes to watch the Games on TV or wi­fi links. Six CIHA stu­dents ear­ned them­selves berths on the ho­ckey teams of their home pro­vinces for this year’s Winter Games.

“It just shows the work we’re doing,” said Guy Gi­rouard, CIHA di­rec­tor of ho­ckey. “We are get­ting bet­ter (re­sults) eve­ry year. We’re loo­king for­ward to seeing them play.”

Playing for No­va Sco­tia are Au­tumn MacDou­gall and Bob­bi Strople while Mad­dy Kou­ghan rounds out the CIHA’s contri­bu­tion to wo­men’s ho­ckey at the Games as she picks up the stick for Prince Ed­ward Is­land. Fel­low Is­lan­der Bre­chan MacLean is playing on the men’s team while Mat­thew Grou­chy will help his bro­ther players from New­found­land-La­bra­dor on the ice. Joi­ning the On­ta­rio team is Gabe Vi­lar­di.

“I was de­fi­ni­te­ly ho­nou­red,” said MacDou­gall, re­gar­ding ma­king the No­va Sco­tia team. “It’s de­fi­ni­te­ly a li­fe­time op­por­tu­ni­ty.”

“I’ve been wor­king for this since I star­ted playing,” said Strople, whose fa­ther cap­tai­ned No­va Sco­tia’s ho­ckey and la­crosse teams when he com­pe­ted in past Ca­na­da Games. “It’s al­ways been a dream of mine.”

“I was ecs­ta­tic,” said Kou­ghan. “This has been my goal since I star­ted playing. It’s a huge ho­nour.”

The three CIHA con­tri­bu­tions to the men’s teams at the Games were a bit more la­co­nic in their re­plies.

“Pret­ty good,” said MacLean. “Ne­ver been to B.C. be­fore.” “Pret­ty ac­com­pli­shed,” said Grou­chy. “Feels good,” said Vi­lar­di.

They had more to say when as­ked whe­ther they might have any pro­blems playing against a fel­low CIHA student if the Games play sche­dule mat­ched On­ta­rio, PEI, and New­found­land/La­bra­dor against each other.

“I’ll do any­thing to help my team win,” said Grou­chy.

“If I play (against) Grou­chy,” said MacLean, grin­ning, “we’re de­fi­ni­te­ly going to blow them out.”

“He (MacLean) has to keep his head up in the neu­tral zone,” said Vi­lar­di.

The la­dies al­so saw no pro­blem with a show­down ses­sion bet­ween No­va Sco­tia and PEI at the Games.

“Yeah,” said MacDou­gall, re­cal­ling the match at the At­lan­tic Chal­lenge Cup. “We beat them (PEI) be­fore.”

“We did pret­ty good against them,” said Strople about No­va Sco­tia’s chances against the Is­lan­ders. “So it shouldn’t be any pro­blem.”

Kou­ghan doesn’t think her team’s players will have any trouble when push comes to shove on the ice against their fel­low Ma­ri­ti­mers.

“They (No­va Sco­tia) got lu­cky at the ACC,” she said. “It was a real­ly close and they (No­va Sco­tia) got a lu­cky bounce. We should have won.”

The Ca­na­da Winter Games are Fe­brua­ry 13 to March 1 in Prince George, B.C. Games sche­du­ling and other de­tails are at www. ca­na­da­

Pho­to Gregg Chamberlain

The Ca­na­dian In­ter­na­tio­nal Ho­ckey Aca­de­my will have good re­pre­sen­ta­tion at this year’s Ca­na­da Winter Games. Six of its stu­dents have ear­ned berths on their home pro­vince ho­ckey teams playing in the Games in Prince George next month.

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