Saanich hockey player have to wait for Brick tourney

Players stay sharp with backyard ‘rink’

You’ve heard this athlete story before, the youngest of four brothers might be the most competitive.

Nine-year-old Conor Nicolson of Gordon Head played for two hockey teams this year, in his age bracket with the Victoria Admirals atom team (9 and 10) and as a regular call-up, or affiliate, with the Admirals’ peewee (11 and 12) Tier 3 team.

In August 2019, he took part in the preliminary tryouts for the team B.C. Canucks, B.C.’s annual entry to the prestigious Brick Hockey Invitational Tournament in Edmonton. Normally, the tourney happens in June.

READ MORE: Saanich atom player joins junior Canucks for Brick Invitational

At the end of February, Nicolson’s family learned Conor was invited to join the Brick team for this year. He played three exhibition games with the team in Port Coquitlam, scoring a goal and two assists in the last game, said dad Ryan.

Needless to say, the kid was pretty excited.

“Very excited,” Conor said.

Then came the news that school, hockey and everything was shut down.

“I’m kind of disappointed, but I also [know] I [have the chance to] train harder and get ready for the big tournament,” Conor said.

Four years ago another Gordon Head kid, Matt Lahey, suited up for the B.C. Canucks at the Brick tournament, a tournament that has a surprising list of NHL alumni considering it’s for nine year olds. Lahey has skated with Conor’s elder brother Caelan, and the two 14 year olds are gaining interest from WHL teams in next year’s bantam draft.

With no organized sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, Conor has been facing off with Caelan and their other two brothers, Ryan Jr., 12, and Brendan, 16, on the backyard set-up that Ryan Sr. just happened to be making for the summer – before the COVID-19 shutdown was put in place.

“All four play hockey and this is the longest all four have ever been off the ice since they started,” Nicolson said. “I started building the backyard setup, a 16-foot by 16-foot of plywood so they could practice their shooting. Lucky I had already started building it when the rinks were closed.”

For now, the Nicolsons were told the Brick Tournament will hopefully happen in the new year, which is when some expect organized youth hockey to restart.

In the meantime, Conor can sharpen his skills on a pair of rollerblades against three big brothers who also all love hockey.

“I had a great time in the [B.C. Canucks] exhibition games, I like competing at the best level that I can compete at,” Conor said.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

RCMP cruiser damaged while responding to second of three Sidney crashes

Multiple crashes cause delays in both directions on Highway 17

Hotel workers gather in Victoria, demand right to return to work

Workers also asking the government to make sure employers don’t use pandemic to replace them

Victoria archery club says goodbye to outdoor range in View Royal

Province-owned View Royal property will house handyDART facility

MISSING: Victoria woman dubbed high-risk, last seen mid-June

Kristy Bolton is known to frequent the Rock Bay area

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Elizabeth May endorses Furstenau in BC Greens race

Former federal party leader backs Cowichan Valley MLA

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Most Read