Hitting The Ice In Vancouver

Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - By: Will P, Whittall ‘22

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the Ice Hockey Program was able to participate in their annual trip to Vancouver to kick off what is stacking up to be an exciting season. On Thursday, bright and early at 6:30 am, 28 members of the first-term program jumped on a bus headed to Vancouver via Nanaimo’s Departure Bay ferry. Luckily, despite recent transportation difficulties on the Island and throughout British Columbia, the team was able to successfully reach Vancouver without much trouble.

Upon reaching Vancouver, the team immediately headed to their first game, where players were split into two teams and played two separate minigames in a 3-on-3 format against Surrey’s Earl Marriott. Although defeated in both games, there were plenty of bright spots, with the teams racking up the goals and looking very comfortable in an unfamiliar format. Speaking on the 3-on-3 style, Nick C, Ellis ‘22 embraced the change: “It was definitely weird at first, but once we got into it, it was really fun and a good way to improve our skills in a new way.”

After a post-game gourmet all-you-can-eat sushi feast, the team headed back to the hotel, got some prep done (hopefully), and, after some swimming pool shenanigans, headed to bed in preparation for Saturday’s big games.

For Saturday’s games, we were again split into two teams, with one facing off against Kitsilano and the other playing Prince of Wales. Against Kitsilano, Brentwood played some good hockey but was unable to put pucks in the net, unfortunately falling short. The other Brentwood team went to Prince of Wales not knowing quite what to expect. After being dominated repeatedly by this team in the 2019-20 season, Brentwood made it clear that times have changed, going toe-to-toe with Prince of Wales and matching them in every aspect of the game, erasing a 3-1 deficit with a minute left in the game before losing a heartbreaker in overtime. Although the loss was hard to take, the post-game mood was full of excitement for what the year will bring after such a strong performance. Trekker J, Ellis ‘22, who has been with the program since Grade 9, says this is the “best team Brentwood has had” since he arrived.

The day was capped off with a trip to Rogers Arena to watch the hometown Canucks take on the Winnipeg Jets in NHL action. While it may have been hard for the team to learn much from such a struggling franchise, the Canucks were somehow able to achieve a rare victory, to the dismay of some and the surprise of many.

After the game, the team headed back to the hotel, set their alarms (for 6:00 am!), and went to bed, before catching the early ferry back to school, which took its toll on some of the players who were highly resourceful in finding ways to nap on a BC Ferry.   

As the second term of sport has now officially kicked off, competitive games will be coming thick and fast for this program, which will be deploying four teams this season as the Girls Ice Hockey Team will be starting up this year. This program is showing signs of being the strongest it has been in years: it will be awesome to see what all four teams can do in the coming months.

Look for Grace’s article later this week featuring the girls’ team.

Will P, Whittall ‘22

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