Sports

Holiday hockey on through Monday

 Parker Moskal of the California Wave U16AA wins the opening faceoff from Prince George Cougar Daylon Ouellette Thursday at the Richmond International Midget Hockey Tournament. The teams were tied 2-2 after a period but the Cougars added two more goals in the second and held on for a 4-2 victory in the Tier 2 Division game.   - Don Fennell photo
Parker Moskal of the California Wave U16AA wins the opening faceoff from Prince George Cougar Daylon Ouellette Thursday at the Richmond International Midget Hockey Tournament. The teams were tied 2-2 after a period but the Cougars added two more goals in the second and held on for a 4-2 victory in the Tier 2 Division game.
— image credit: Don Fennell photo

Don’t be surprised if you see a flock of bird dogs at the Richmond International Midget Hockey Tournament—on through Monday at the Richmond Ice Centre, Minoru Arenas and Richmond Olympic Oval.

The 58-team event has become one of the most popular holiday tournaments in North America. and increasingly, scouts are discovering future juniors and even pros.

Two years ago, Derrick Pouliot was patrolling the blueline for Moose Jaw at the Richmond tournament. Last summer, the Pittsburgh Penguins selected him eighth overall in the annual NHL Entry Draft, reflecting how highly thought of the 18-year-old defenceman is as a pro prospect.

Pouliot is the latest in a growing list of NHLers who have played in the Richmond tournament, now in its 32nd year. That list includes current Columbus Blue Jacket Brandon Dubinsky and Montreal Canadien Scott Gomez, who both played for teams based in Alaska.

•Tournament finals scheduled for Monday

By the time Monday rolls around, there will be a host of very exhausted committee members. They’ll have overseen 154 games over the first four days of the annual Richmond International Midget Hockey Tournament.

The players will be tired too, but grateful if they’re fortunate enough to play on New Year’s Eve day.

It’s finals day with bronze, silver and gold medals on the line. Games begin at 8:30 a.m. with  Tier 2 gold up for grabs at Minoru Arenas, while at the Ice Centre the Tier 3 final begins at 8:45 a.m. The Tier 1 bronze final also begins at 8:45 a.m.  at the Ice Centre, followed by the bronze medal games at Tier 2 and Tier 3 at 9 a.m. The Midget Major bronze medal game begins at 9:15 a.m., with the Tier 1 and Midget Major gold medal finals at 11:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Minoru Arenas.

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