The battle for the coveted Jeff Batters Memorial Trophy gets under way today. Twelve teams from around the province will compete in the Greater Victoria Midget Hockey Classic which runs from today through Monday at the Ian Stewart Complex and several other arenas around Victoria.
The host Victoria Racquet Club Kings will be joined by the Saanich Braves, Westshore Grizzlies, Peninsula Eagles, Cowichan Valley Capitals, Campbell River Tyees, Seafair Islanders, Burnaby Bulldogs, Port Moody Panthers, Cloverdale Colts, Semiahmoo Ravens and North Delta Sun Devils.
Round-robin action begins today at 8 a.m. with the Kings taking on the Colts at the Ian Stewart Complex.
Other arenas being used include Westhills Arena, Bear Mountain Arena, Juan de Fuca Arena, Pearkes Arena and Panorama Recreation Centre.
The playoff round begins Sunday morning, with the C Flight final going Monday at 7: 50 a.m. at Panorama, the B Flight final Monday at 11: 40 a.m. at Panorama and the A Flight final on Monday at 2 p.m. at the Ian Stewart Complex.
Batters played his minor hockey at the Racquet Club before being drafted by the St. Louis Blues. After signing with the San Jose Sharks in 1995 and playing for the AHL affiliate in Kansas City, Batters was killed in a car accident on Aug. 23, 1996.
WINTERS HEADED TO CHINA
Fred Winters' volleyball career continues to reach new heights.
The Victoria native, a member of Canada's senior national team, will be among the first three foreign players to play in China's professional volleyball league. Winters and fellow Canadian Steve Brinkman have signed with BAIC Motors, a pro club based in Beijing. They'll be in the BAIC Motors' lineup when the team opens the 2012 season on Sunday.
The Chinese pro league runs until mid-February.
RAMS' STARS HONOURED
An impressive regular season helped earn the Mount Douglas Rams a first-round bye in the B.C. Boys Triple-A High School Football League, and it also helped Mount Doug dominate the league all-star team.
Nine Rams were named to the Western Conference all-star team this week - the most in Mount Doug football history. On offence, running back Marcus Davis was named the most valuable player, while linemen Zach Wilkinson and Christian Krause, along with receiver Brian Dowds and quarterback Ashton MacKinnon we give all-star nods.
On defence, linemen Sasha Shurvin and Peter Allan, along with linebacker Mason Swift and defensive back Julian Luis were all named all-stars.
SPARTANS ROW TO GOLD
The Claremont Spartans made the biggest splash at last weekend's Lower Island Secondary School City Rowing Championships at Elk Lake.
The Spartans won overall team titles in senior boys, junior boys and junior girls en route to the overall team championship. Among Claremont's medals were first-place finishes in senior women's doubles, quads and eights. The Spartans also won the junior men's eight competition.
Winning the overall team bronze medal was St.
Andrew's. The Sabres won gold medals in the Grade 8 boys quad, Grade 8 mixed quad, junior girls quad, junior girls double, senior girls single and junior girls eight.
Seventeen schools competed in the event.
PIECHNIK HALL OF A PITCHER
If you ride the bus around Victoria, you could be getting a ride from a Hall of Famer.
After a stellar pitching career in Victoria and around the country, Mike Piechnik is being inducted this weekend into the Softball Canada Hall of Fame.
The ceremony in Calgary will honour several people, including Piechnik, now a driver for B.C. Transit in Victoria, and several others.
Piechnik won 10 B.C. championships and four Canadian championships and was named the national tournament MVP in 1992, 1997 and 2001. He also pitched for Canada at the 1995 (Argentina) and '99 Pan American Games (Winnipeg), winning the gold medal both years. He threw four perfect games and six no-hitters in International Softball Congress competition and helped Canada win the gold medal at the 1992 International Softball Federation championship in Manila.
MCLEAN HAS FIELD DAY AT MCGILL
Brandon McLean has put the skills he learned at Claremont Secondary's lacrosse academy to good use.
McLean just helped his McGill University Redmen win the gold medal at the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Championships in Peterborough, Ont.
McLean was named the tournament MVP, scoring the winning goal against Guelph in the semifinals.
McGill edged the Western Mustangs 7-6 in the championship game.
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