Juan de Fuca hockey teams celebrate four league titles

Development model fuels success of Juan de Fuca rep hockey

Juan de Fuca proudly celebrated four of its teams last month for winning their respective divisions in Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association play this season.

Grizzlies teams captured first in the midget Division 1, bantam Div. 1 and 2 and pee wee Div. 1. All four of those teams are in the midst of their opening playoff rounds and are attempting to win their way into the next round, en route to a possible provincial championship berth.

The success in Island league play of the nine rep teams, whose members make up a relatively small percentage of the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey Association’s more than 700 players, continues to show how the association’s development strategies are working, says president Harold Bloomenthal.

“We only became a Tier 1 association about four years ago,” he says, referring to the status that takes into account the total number of players an association has registered in midget, bantam and pee wee.

“For us, we’re probably the smallest Tier 1 association in B.C.; we’ve just passed that threshold. If we’re trying to compete at the Tier 1 level it can be quite challenging. We won quite a few of the Tier 2 provincials when we were playing at that level.”

He points to the association’s coach mentoring program as a big reason why players are learning skills at an earlier age and transferring that knowledge to the ice, all the way through the divisions. Coaches who are dedicated to learning work with experienced mentors on a regular basis and as a result, more are sticking around than in past years, Bloomenthal says. Of Juan de Fuca’s total number of 45 teams, 35 had returning head coaches.

That makes for great continuity, he adds. Along with a more realistic player placement system and an association-wide policy toward even play, the kids are happier, he says. “We’ve got some kids who have never played rep before suddenly emerge in midget.”

All in all, the rep success may be a high-profile measurement for the association, but that success begins with a cohesive strategy to teach young players from the moment they step onto the ice, Bloomenthal says.

“There’s nothing better than to see the kids, see their smiles and how they’re playing and how they’re enjoying the game.”


Just Posted

Ambitious B.C. Aviation Museum need $10M to get iconic Lancaster back in the air

Volunteers flock to work on bomber, restoration expected to take 10 years

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to fall fake eagle tree at Ogden Point

Last year a fake tree was installed to try to entice eagles to stay in the area, without much success

Saanich to potentially host first hydrogen fuel station on Vancouver Island

Station proposed for corner of Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue

Saanich to recognize Coun. Judy Brownoff for a quarter century on council

Award presentation will take place Monday evening

Langford man sentenced to 15 months for child pornography collection

Andre Mollon sentenced for posession of more than 1,000 child pornography images and 70 videos

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Inspirational Vancouver Island youngster dies after battle with brain cancer

Kaiden Finley ‘was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

Most Read