Annual hockey jamboree at Lake Cowichan coming this weekend

Get ready, get set, to see all Lake Cowichan’s minor hockey teams in action on Jan. 19. (Gazette file)

It’s the time of year young hockey players circle in their calendars. It’s the 47th annual Lake Cowichan Minor Hockey Jamboree and it’s happening on Saturday, Jan. 19.

All six age groups will take to the ice at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena throughout the day but the highlight is typically the NHL-style skills competition at noon.

According to Lake Cowichan Minor Hockey board member Ashley Degraaf, the novice players take the ice at 9:30 a.m., followed by the initiation game at 11 a.m. The skills competition comes next with the atoms (1:30 p.m.), peewees (3 p.m.) bantams (4:40 p.m.) and midgets (6:20 p.m.) rounding out the day.

It’s Degraaf’s son Jack’s first time participating in the event.

“We’re all very excited. It’s also my first year with the association and helping out with the event and from what I’ve heard, it’s quite neat to see all the players out on the ice together, even the alumni, during the skills competition,” Degraaf explained. “You have tiny teammates representing the association’s youngest initiation group skating next to players almost six feet tall on the midget team.”

If past events tell us anything, the older players will take the chance to mentor the younger ones seriously.

It’s an event not to be missed.

“A lot of work goes into this jamboree and so we’re hoping to see a great turnout,” Degraaf said. “We’re also very excited that this year we have members of Lake Cowichan’s 75th anniversary coming by to help during the event.”

Hockey aside, there’ll be a 50/50 draw and a raffle table with prizes to be won. (Stick around, you have to be there to win.)

“I’m really hoping to see lots of people from the community come out and cheer on their Lakers,” Degraaf said. “That’s the amazing thing about living in a small community. We are there for each other and always up to celebrating the cool things happening in town.”

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