The Island Outlaws won gold at the CCT BC Quest for the Cup earlier this month. (Rachel Beggs photo)

The Island Outlaws won gold at the CCT BC Quest for the Cup earlier this month. (Rachel Beggs photo)

Outlaws stun opponents on their way to gold in Burnaby

Cowichan AA team suspected as AAA squad

In just their second tournament ever, the Island Outlaws ran into some controversy.

The 2011 AA spring hockey team took gold in the CCT BC Quest for the Cup tournament at 8 Rinks Burnaby, which wrapped up on June 1, but their success had their opponents questioning their eligibility.

“One team believed we had 2010 birth-year players on our team in a 2011 division, and another believed we were AAA,” Outlaws manager Chander Sharma reported. “In fact, we have an underage 2012, two first-year hockey players, and only 10 total weeks of full-ice practice and a grand total of eight games played coming into this event.”

The Outlaws opened with a 5-4 win over the BC Kodiaks, a highly regarded team that includes the son of former Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa, followed by a 3-2 win over BC Lightning, an 11-1 win over North Shore, and a 12-1 win over Richmond. The final was a rematch against the Kodiaks, which the Island team won 6-3.

The Cowichan Valley’s first spring hockey team was started earlier this season and came together quickly.

“The Valley has some amazing young hockey players and unbelievable community and parent support,” Sharma said. “We are looking forward to our next season and expanding our teams to include more birth years. Next year we hope with the help of some community and business sponsorship that we can travel some more and show the rest of B.C. that the kids from the Home of the Big Stick can compete against any big city program.”