Chinese youth hockey team touring Vancouver Island

Little Wolf Beijing Hockey to test skills against Island minor hockey players

As ice hockey continues to grow in China, teams are looking at Canada as a place to test their mettle.

In February, a youth team from Beijing will arrive on Vancouver Island for a 13-day tour of communities and ice rinks, starting in North Saanich in a game against Peninsula Minor Hockey’s high-flying Atom A Eagles.

The Little Wolf Beijing Hockey AAA team, made up of Atom and PeeWee age players (born in 2006, ‘07 and ‘08), have reportedly been winning games at home in China and are looking for some competitive games here in B.C. Brian Passmore, coach and general manager of the Cowichan Capitals Junior A hockey club is organizing the tour, with help from the team’s owner, Chinese businessman Ray Zhang.

Passmore says the youth players from China will be on the Island Feb. 3 to 16 and will train with local coaches, play games against teams from various minor hockey associations and watch some Junior A hockey. The tour was arranged through the Capitals’ owner, whose son Simon Chen is in his second season with the team. Passmore said Chen will be helping out on the ice, making sure the language barrier is minimal.

“Lots of guys from China are coming to play hockey in B.C. and Ontario,” Passmore said, “to test their skills.”

As far as he knows, this is the first time a Chinese hockey team has come to the Island.

Hockey in that country is making strides to improve, Passmore continued. They are developing more and more players, their national teams are traveling around the world to train and a professional team joined the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in 2016. Chen, Passmore, noted, is an example of players moving abroad to learn the game and play at higher levels. The Capitals’ defenceman, says the coach, attended last summer’s Vancouver Canucks Prospects Camp and came back to their team vastly improved over last season.

“Simon will help on this tour as well,” Passmore said. “On the ice and with the language barrier.”

The Little Wolf Beijing team starts its tour in North Saanich on Sunday, Feb. 4 at Panorama Recreation Centre. They play the Atom A Eagles at 10 a.m. — and parents with the local team are happy to be the first hosts.

The following day, they are in Parksville to play the Oceanside Generals Atom A squad. A full schedule is included below.

Passmore sad the games should be competitive and fun — a chance for the Chinese youngsters to play Canadian teams, and a chance for Canadian players to be exposed to the world of hockey.

Little Wolf Beijing Hockey schedule

Game

Sunday Feb 4, 2018 vs. Peninsula Eagles Atom A

@ Panorama Recreation Arena 10:00am-11:30pm

Peninsula Minor Hockey Association

Game

Monday Feb 5, 2018 vs. Oceanside Generals Atom A

@ Howie Meeker Arena, Parksville 5:15pm-6:45pm

Oceanside Minor Hockey Association

Game

Tuesday, Feb 6, 2018 Vs. Cowichan Valley Capitals Atom A

@ Charlie Purdey Arena 5:30pm-7:00pm

Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey Association

Game

Wednesday, Feb 7, 2018 Vs. Campbell River Tyees Atom A

@ Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex Arena 7:15pm-8:45pm

Campbell River Minor Hockey Association

Game

Thursday, Feb 8, 2018 Vs. Comox Valley Chiefs Atom A

@ Comox Regional Valley Ice Centre 5:00pm-7:00pm

Comox Valley Minor Hockey Association

Game

Saturday, Feb 10, 2018 Vs. Victoria Racquet Club Atom B

@ Ian Stewart Arena 1:30pm-3:00pm

Victoria Racquet Club Minor Hockey Association

Game

Sunday, Feb 11, 2018 Vs. Cowichan Valley Capitals Peewee A

@ Fuller Lake Arena 12:00pm-2:00pm

Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey Association

Game

Monday, Feb 12, 2018 Vs. Kerry Park Islanders Peewee A

@Charlie Purdey Arena 9:00am-10:30am

Kerry Park Minor Hockey Association



editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

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