If you want to see some hard-working young hockey players in action in Sooke, you won’t have to plan a road trip on Labour Day.
The Victoria Grizzlies will square off for an exhibition game against the Cowichan Capitals on Sept. 5 at 2 p.m. for the Rotary Club of Sooke’s annual fundraising event.
Rylan Ferster, the Grizzlies head coach and general manager, said he expects the game will be highly competitive, considering training camp opened on Aug. 26.
“Both teams will be playing their rookies so there’s a lot of kids fighting to make a good impression and trying to earn a spot on the team,” he said.
“We have been coming out to Sooke for a long time. It’s great exposure and a chance to showcase our team. We’ll do our best to put on a good show for the fans and hopefully generate some interest.”
Ferster was clear in what his priorities are for this season for the 40 players at training camp.
“Every coach across the country says they want a hardworking, competitive team at this time of the year,” he said. “I want the players to focus on doing your job and paying a lot of attention to detail.”
Rotary Club of Sooke president John Topolniski said it was great to be able to bring the Grizzlies to Sooke again for a Junior A exhibition game after a two-year hiatus.
“These games are always high-quality contests featuring potential future NHL players,” said Topolniski, a self-admitted huge hockey fan.
Funds from the event and the annual golf tournament support projects in Sooke.
“We recently supplied scholarships and bursaries worth $6,000 to local secondary school graduates, helped fund lifeguard training at SEAPARC, and supplied funding for library books to all the schools in our area, to name a few,” he said.
Tickets are family-friendly priced at $10 for ages 17 and older, $5 for ages six to 16, and free for children under five years of age. They can be purchased at Sooke Fax and Copy, The Source at Evergreen Centre and at SEAPARC.