CeeBees minor team bound for Ottawa

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Atom team participating in international tournament

It is going to be a big Christmas break for the 17 young hockey players in the Conception Bay North region.

This group of CeeBees minor atom players will be travelling to Ottawa, Ontario for the Bell Capital Cup on Dec. 27-Jan. 1. Members of the team are: kneeling (l-r) — goaltenders Aiden Hogan and Denver Neil; seated — Adrian Green, Riley Shute, Christian Reardon, Kaitlyn Pike, Ben Ryan and Andrew Taylor; middle — Cameron Byrne, Ryan Jones, Matthew King, Joshua Kenedy, Riley Green, Reid Deering, Kadyn Coombs, Hunter Saunders and Nicholas Antle; back — coaches Doug Taylor, Charlie Deering, Neil Shute, Nick Saunders and David Kennedy. Missing from photo is coach Randy Reardon.

A group of CeeBees minor atom players in Harbour Grace will be travelling to Ottawa for the Bell Capital Cup on Dec. 27-Jan. 1.

The high profile tournament features atom and peewee aged athletes from all over the globe.

This year’s competition will feature some 310 teams from different parts of Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. There are six teams from Finland, two from Japan and one each from China, Germany and Austria.

In fact, the tournament was once the largest minor hockey tournament in the world and shone the spotlight on as many as 510 teams in 2007. In its 15th year, the tournament is backed by the National Hockey League’s Ottawa Senators and was conceived as a competitive and house league tournament.

“The experience for the players will be great,” said coach David Kennedy.

The CeeBees are registered in the major atom A division. The team will play six to eight teams, with some coming from different parts of the world.

“They get to play in different arenas and, possibly teams from different countries,” said Kennedy.

Should the CeeBees make it to the championship game, it will be played at the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the Senators.

Another aspect that is sure to excite some players on the squad will be travelling to Ottawa by plane.

“Some of them have never done that before,” he said.

Players will be participating in a skills competition at the Canadian Tire Centre, take in a Senators practice, as well as participate in pin trading sessions with the other teams.

 

High cost

The cost of the tournament is steep for the CeeBees.

The trip, including airfare, tournament fees, hotels and transportation is close to $40,000, or $2,350 per player.

The group has some 55 people, which includes the 17 players, six coaches and parents and siblings.

The CeeBees have been doing a number of fundraisers to help cover the cost of the tournament.

“Enough parents expressed interest and it took off,” said Kennedy.

 

Off-ice activities

The group has plans to see some of the national landmarks that exist in Canada’s capital city.

“We will be visiting the National War Museum, Parliament Hill, as well as other sites while in Ottawa,” said Kennedy.

There is hope that the team will be able to skate the Rideau Canal Skateway, but it may be too early.

Traditionally, the canal does not open until January.

“We will be going to the wave pools,” said Kennedy. “Children love water, frozen or just warm.”

Kennedy said plans for the trip were not revealed to the players until everything was confirmed.

But, when it was it was hard to control their enthusiasm.

“The players are excited,” said Kennedy.

 

nmercer@cbncompass.ca

Organizations: Canadian Tire Centre, National Hockey League, Ottawa Senators National War Museum

Geographic location: Ottawa, Canada, Harbour Grace United States Europe Asia Finland Japan China Germany Austria

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