Predators to host training camp in Tumbler Ridge, registration open

The Northeast B.C. Predators female hockey teams aren't able to hold their training camp this August as they normally would. However, the Predators went forward and found way to hold their training camp close to the date they normally would. 

The U13, U15, and U18 Predators will all host camp at the Tumbler Ridge Community Centre, September 2 and 3. The Pomeroy Sport Centre, where the Predators normally host camp, won't be open until September 8. For the Predators, it's a chance to go forward with their camp and work around obstacles, as this season is sure to throw more in the team's way.

"This is a great opportunity for us to change locations and switch things up. We represent the Northeast B.C. district, so it's good to get outside of Fort St. John and Dawson Creek and play in a different town under the district," said acting Predators president Angela Ayre. 

Camp will consist of a skill session, two games each, and the regular off-ice fitness testing that takes place every year. The Taylor arena can only have 20 people on the ice at any one time, so depending on the number of players who register, extra ice times may be needed if groups are required to split up. 

To register, fill out the forms on the Predators' website

The Predators had a bit of a down year in 2019-20 for numbers, but Ayre said there's a lot of interest in the Predators this year and a number of new players have signed up for all three teams. 

It remains to be seen if B.C. Hockey will allow competitive hockey to take place this season, but the Predators are committed to getting the girls on the ice as much possible and being as creative as they need to be to have fun out on the ice. Ayre said the Preds are hoping B.C. Hockey allows teams to compete, as long as they stay within their region. 

The Predators have had troubles in the past couple years finding a league to play in  regularly. The U18 team found a home playing in the OMAHA league last year as guests, competing against teams from Williams Lake and Prince George in super-weekend play (five weekends of the year, with four games played a weekend, to cut down on travel). 

Plans were made for both the U18 and U15 teams to compete in the Northern B.C. Female A League this year against Prince George, Northwest B.C., and Williams Lake, and Ayre is hopeful that the team can take advantage of the chance this year. 

No matter what happens, the Predators are committed to making the most of their ice times, both in camp and during the season. 

"Our plan is to utilize the local ice as much as we can, and whether that looks like three-on-three games, tournament days, or other formats, we'll be creative and try to get the girls on the ice as much as possible," Ayre said. 

Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca

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