While most of the country had an easy time tuning in to watch Canada beat Russia in the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship on Monday night, a severe ice storm had left much of the Hope area without electricity. Hopians had to be lucky — or resourceful — to see the live broadcast.
Such was the case for the James family of Dogwood Valley. Still able to communicate via Facebook on her cell phone, mom Vanessa said, “We broke out the generator for the gold medal game but it turned out our satellite dish was frozen anyway.
“I remembered after the first period that I have Bell TV on my phone, so the two hockey players watched the game on my little phone screen. Technology can be a wonderful thing.”
The Christmas break was a busy one for the James family, with brothers Dyllan and Marcus both playing in tournaments and Marcus joining a handful of local officials to help out at the 34-team Chilliwack peewee jamboree.
Dyllan, 17, is on Chilliwack’s midget A1 rep team and they placed third in their tourney at Coquitlam last week. Marcus, 13, skates for Hope’s bantam C1 Wildcats and they took a tough road to victory at the 14-team Abbotsford tournament before Christmas.
Coached by former Hope Minor Hockey teammates of the past century, cousins Mike Talarico and Clayton Kellum — the Wildcats won their first game, 3-0. After that, the next four games were all come-from-behind wins, said team manager, Jesse James.
The Wildcats went up against Chilliwack C5 in the semi-final, a team that had only lost once in the regular season. Hope was down 2-1 after one period but were tied 3-3 after two. With only three seconds left in the game, Hope scored to make it 4-3 and put the Wildcats into the championship match against Langley C2.
Langley held 1-0 and 3-0 leads at the ends of the first two periods before the Wildcats decided to make a game of it, with 10:21 left in the final frame. Wildcat netminder, Micheal Frayn, shut the door on the opposition and the skaters got moving.
“Dylan Younie got us going and then Marcus and Kade (Hansen) took over with their skating and determination,” said Talarico. “I don’t know what it was like for the coaches when I was playing minor hockey — but I was going gray on the bench!”
8:55 to go and Connor Douglas put one in, to make it 3-2, assisted by James and Damien Stephenson.
3:52 remaining and Stephenson got his third assist of the game, feeding James for the tying goal.
3:35 and Hansen converted a pass from Jerome Campbell, giving the Wildcats a 4-3 lead. James completed the surge, putting Damon Campbell’s pass into the empty net with 38 seconds on the clock.
Switching his jersey to a striped one, James joined a group of Hope officials who turned out to help in the 56th annual Chilliwack peewee jamboree. Hope’s referee-in-chief, Paul Frederickson, said he’s pleased with the contingent of young officials in Hope — and that they are able to work in games down the valley, to give them more exposure.
“The Hope refs can access games in Chilliwack Minor Hockey through a system called Assignr.com, and depending on their training levels, games can be accessed in Abby, Mission, Aldergrove and Langley, up to juvenile A.
“Mrs. Sharrers helped put five kids through the Western Canada Referee School in Langley this summer, with the Murray Sullivan scholarship,” added Frederickson, whose daughter Millar is also an official.
Barb Sharrers said on Tuesday that the fund is now finished.
“I think there’s maybe four dollars in the account,” she said — though she is willing to stay as a director, along with Leah Romano, if the necessary donations were to come in.
Sullivan was a well-known local ref and minor hockey coach who was killed in a motor vehicle accident in 1999, said Sharrers. Another ref, David Jones, pushed for the formation of a memorial fund and a fundraising tournament got the initial donations in place.
“Easily, more than 20 young referees have benefitted from the scholarship — some of them, as many as five times,” figured Sharrers, whose son Jay is in his 25th year as an NHL on-ice official.
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Tournament action comes to Hope this weekend, with the midget Cs hosting an 8-team event. The bantam house tournament follows on the January 21-23 weekend.