The Squamish Eagles Atom rep hockey team did something on Saturday (Dec. 8) that the Vancouver Canucks haven’t done since last April — play a hockey game at Rogers Arena.
With the NHL and the NHLPA mired in disagreements about hockey-related revenue, cost certainty and contract lengths, local minor hockey teams benefitted from the lack of activity at Rogers Arena.
The Canucks hosted Minor Hockey Weekend on Saturday, with 24 teams randomly selected from more than 1,200 across the province getting the chance to hit the ice at Rogers Arena. The Eagles were one of the lucky ones and had the opportunity to take on the Semiahmoo Ravens in a full three-period game.
“This was a great chance for the players to experience something special,” said Eagles head coach Derek Cranfield. “From dressing in the visitors’ dressing room to walking out the tunnel, to seeing the giant score clock, to hearing each name called over the PA speakers — it was a perfect day.”
Cranfield said the team also got to sit on the home bench and received a tour of the Canucks dressing room.
“It was a first-class thing for the Canucks to do,” he said.
It was a busy weekend for the Eagles, who earlier on Saturday defeated the North Shore Winter Club 7-4. Jake Heppell led the way for the Eagles, scoring a hat trick. Action continued for the team on Sunday (Dec. 10), when they picked up a 2-1 win against Vancouver. Goaltender Xavier Charbonneau was solid in the win for the Eagles, with Austin Cranfield and Tucker Reed scoring the goals.
With the successful weekend, the Eagles moved into first place in their flight with a record of four wins, one loss and three ties.
For more details on the Eagles adventure at Rogers Arena, visit www.puckedinthehead.com/canucks-minor-hockey-weekend-semiahmoo-vs-squamish.