This year’s 15th annual Gil Martin Pee Wee Tournament was the biggest yet, with 15 teams playing at the three-day contest held at the Langley Sportsplex over the Remembrance Day weekend.
“This year, our goal was 16, and we had 15 because one team dropped out, after I said no to some other teams,” explained event chairperson Kevin Gallant.
Next year, there are plans to make it even bigger, with plans to have 32 teams competing in the event.
“Our stated goal is more volunteers and more ice time,” Gallant told the Langley Advance Times.
It would make the event, the biggest of its kind in B.C., match the biggest peewee hockey tournament in Canada, which is held in Regina.
Semiahmoo Ravens and Coquitlam Chiefs were winners of their respective tournaments.
Langley Peewee Eagles had the strongest showing of any local team, making it to the semi-finals where they were unable to get past the Chiefs.
Eagles player Landon Pue was named a 1st Team All-Star in the tournament.
Coach Jason Pue said he was “really proud” of the team, which will be travelling to Phoenix, Ariz. in January to compete in the AAA Cactus Cup International Tournament.
Gil Martin, a longtime Langley hockey coach, mentor and minor hockey board member passed away in 2005.
He had coached in various age divisions within the Langley Minor Hockey League (LMHA) and also served on the association’s executive.
An online account notes that Martin “firmly believed motivation, a positive healthy attitude and effective communication to be intrinsic elements of quality instruction and ultimately success in sports and life. “
The three-day tournament featured from the Interior, Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
Portion of Proceeds raised fromn registration fees go to PuCKS – Promoting Community through Kids in Sport.
Last year, the event raised $6,000.