As summer sports go, inline hockey is perfect for warm weather — and for playing at a large tournament in the desert in Las Vegas.
Josh Buchner, 16, from Central Saanich is a goaltender for the B.C. Knights, an inline hockey team made up of players from across the province. His dad, Doug, says five of the players came from Prince George, two are from the lower mainland and three — including Josh — are from Vancouver Island.
This is Josh’s second trip to Vegas with a B.C. team, Doug said. The first trip was last year with the Eagle Ridge team out of Langford, where Josh is a regular member. This summer, however, Eagle Ridge could not put a full team together so the Knights were pulled in from across the land.
Down in Vegas July 9 to 17, the tournament was really two events in one, said Doug — the AAU Junior Olympics and Federation of International Roller Sports tournament. In all, the team played 12 games.
In the AAU event, the B.C. squad went 4-0-2 and defeated a team from California in the final to win gold.
Over the next six-game tournament, Doug said the B.C. boys did well to make the final, but lost to a team from Alberta to claim a silver medal.
Last year, Josh was part of the Eagle Ridge team that won gold and silver medals as well.
Inline hockey is played on roller blades with a puck. There’s no body checking, said Doug, so it make for a wide open, skillful game.