Ice forward named to Team West

Collin Shirley will suit up and represent the Prairies for the World U17 Hockey Challenge.

Kootenay Ice forward Collin Shirley focuses on the play while being shadowed by Curtis Lazar of the Edmonton Oil Kings during a game at Western Financial Place this season. Shirley has been named to Team West and will compete in the World U17 Hockey Challenge.

Kootenay Ice forward Collin Shirley will be off to Quebec to compete for Team West in the World U17 Hockey Challenge over the Christmas break.

Shirley, 16, is representing the Kootenay Ice for the second straight year, as Jon Martin, Spencer Wand (now retired), Sam Reinhart and Jaedon Descheneau competed in the same tournament last year.

The young rookie found out about making the roster when his family got an email back home in Saskatoon.

“It’s pretty exciting, I guess I didn’t really know if I made it so my mom gave me a call and I was pretty excited,” said Shirley.

“…It was one of my goals after playing U16, the next step was obviously here, and U17, so I’m really excited and happy to be there.”

The World U17 Hockey Challenge is a 10-team international tournament featuring five regions in Canada (Pacific, West, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic) along with squads from Finland, Russia, United States, Sweden and Slovakia.

Team West is usually in tough during the event, with a bronze medal being their highest finish in the last five years.

High level hockey can be a small fraternity, and five other players on the roster hail from Saskatoon, which will add some familiarity as Shirley noted he knows a couple of his teammates.

“It’ll be good to see them, catch up and stuff, so I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

Shirley joins 13 other WHLers on the roster, which is coached by Don MacGillivray, who leads the Winnipeg Blues in the MJHL.

Being thrown into the mix of all that kind of talent is nothing new to Shirley.

“We have a few practices beforehand, so we’ll figure things out,” said Shirley. “But everything, you kind of gotta go into it and work with what you got. Hopefully we’ll gel pretty quick and we’ll see how it goes.”

Martin was one of four Ice players to participate in the tournament last year as he suited up for Team West as well, which finished at the bottom of a strong pool that included the United States, Russia and Team Pacific.

“It was great,” said Martin. “It was a fun time against all those other countries and some of the best hockey at that age group.”

While teams win or lose based on their ability to come together, the international event is also a good measuring stick to see how individuals stack against each other, added Martin.

“It was good to see where you were at and to see how other countries play—it was great,” he said.

Also participating in the tournament is Cranbrook native Payton Lee, a goaltender who plays for the Vancouver Giants. Lee, 16, is a highly touted prospect who will man the crease for Team Pacific during the event. Lee, who started the season in the PIJHL, is embroiled in a three-way battle for starting duties with the Vancouver Giants.

WHL NOTES: Prince George Cougars captain Brock Hirsche has retired following season-ending shoulder surgery. Hirsche, 20, was limited to just eight games last year while struggling through another injury, and only suited up for 18 contests this season.

Just Posted

Kelowna Rockets blast Kootenay ICE

The Kootenay ICE have lost their 12th straight game.

Memorial Arena repairs nearly finished

City staff hoping to have facility open on Jan. 2, 2019.

Motel to be converted for affordable housing

Council approves rezoning change that will convert old motel to bachelor suites

East Kootenay Track and Field Club looking for board members

The club needs a minimum of five board members to keep their non-profit status.

Kootenay ICE host minor hockey players

The ICE hosted Cranbrook Minor Hockey Skills Day where kids learned from their favourite players.

Retired B.C. teacher a YouTube Sudoku sensation

A retired Kelowna teacher has amassed quite the following online by teaching the art of solving a Sudoku puzzle.

Girl, 6, lured from elementary school, sexually assaulted: Vancouver police

Police are seeking dashcam footage from nearby Sexsmith Elementary School in South Vancouver

B.C. Liberals call for outside audit of Speaker’s office

Auditor General implicated in Darryl Plecas accusations of impropriety

Three victims of ex-ski coach Bertrand Charest suing Alpine Canada

The victims are also seeking $150,000 each in punitive damages

Trudeau names four new senators, filling every seat in the Senate

Trudeau has appointed 49 senators since becoming prime minister and will have the chance to appoint more in 2019

B.C. member of parliament takes feds to task on opioid crisis

‘Too many families are tragically losing parents, siblings and children to the opioid crisis.’

Heart attack raises questions about boarding BC Ferries in health emergencies

Quadra Island man recovering after being airlifted to hospital in Victoria

Judge gives Michael Cohen 3 years in prison

Judge William H. Pauley III said Cohen deserved a harsh punishment for crimes including tax evasion

Most Read