The Richmond Ravens will be aiming to regain their championship form when the best in female hockey converge here this weekend for the sixth annual Pacific Coast rep classic.
After winning at least one of the three division titles annually since 2009, the hosts lost out last year to Kamloops, St. Albert (Alberta) and Surrey in the Midget AA, Bantam AA and Peewee AA divisions respectively.
It won’t be easy.
Since spinning off the long-standing Ravens’ Ice Classic tournament, the rep classic has grown to 24 teams. This year, the event is attracting teams from as far east as Markham, Ontario as well as from Albert and California. It is the largest rep tournament in the province.
From its inception, the focus of the event has been “to foster the development of elite female minor hockey by bringing together teams from across North America,” says Ravens’ president Shirlyn Baskette.
As tournament directors, Natalie and John Korenic will be heading up the activities Oct. 19 to 21 at the Richmond Ice Centre.
Besides the Markham-Stouffville Stars, the Midget AA division will also feature LB Energy Preds (representing the Peace River region); North Shore Avalanche; San Jose Sharks; South Island Royals; Surrey Falcons; host Richmond Ravens; and defending champion Kamloops Blazers.
The Bantam AA division, won last year by St. Albert (not returning) includes the Calgary Fire Red, Kelowna Rockets, North Island Impact, Prince George Cougars, Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs, San Jose Sharks, South Island Royals, Surrey Falcons, Tri-Cities Predators and host Richmond Ravens.
Surrey Falcons are returning to defend the Peewee AA division, which also includes the Kelowna Rockets, North Shore Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, South Island Royals, Tri-Cities Predators and host Richmond Ravens.
Games begin at 7:30 a.m. Friday (Oct. 19), with the championship games at 12:30 p.m., 12:45 p.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 21).
Fans will also have an opportunity to check out action in the South Coast Women’s Hockey League Friday (7 p.m. Fraser Valley vs. South Fraser on the Coliseum) and Saturday (6 p.m. Richmond vs. Meadow Ridge on the Coliseum). The SCWHL is the top competitive league for players over 18 in B.C.