Hockey Day in Trail will roll out a new line up on Saturday with the Major Midget Kootenay Ice, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks and the Trail Smoke Eaters all in action at the Trail Memorial Centre. Greater Trail minor hockey teams kick off the festivities at 8 a.m. and will also play at the B.V. and Rossland Arenas. From left: Nitehawks Captains Angus Amadio and Morgan Peace, Trail Smoke Eaters Captain Philippe Lapointe, Kootenay Ice Captain Kaleb Percival, and Greater Trail Minor Hockey players Cody and Lacey Duckworth. Geoff Fontes photo.

Trail celebrates 63 years of Minor Hockey Day

Kootenay Ice, BV Nitehawks, and Trail Smoke Eaters go back-to-back-to-back at Trail Memorial Centre

Hockey Day in Trail will feature an exciting new line up on Saturday, in recognition of its 63rd year in Trail.

Greater Trail Minor Hockey has partnered with the Trail Smoke Eaters, Beaver Valley Nitehawks, and Major Midget Kootenay Ice to celebrate the very special day that will see all three teams in action at the Trail Memorial Centre.

Related read: Come out and celebrate Hockey Day in Trail

Eight Senior and Junior Novice teams will hit the ice prior to the big games and of course there will be the popular Pancake Breakfast put on by the Local 480 going from 8 to 11 a.m. In addition, the Atom Jamboree will take to the Kids Rink ice from 8:45 to 11 a.m.

“Yes, it’ll be a busy day at the rink,” said GTMHA vice president Jim Maniago. “Ideally for us, we’d like to have the younger kids and our rep teams as the highlight, but having the junior teams will make for a busy day as well.”

Youth hockey started in Trail in 1934 with 11 teams that included five Bantam, four Midget, and two Juvenile teams participating. By 1939, the Trail Boys Booster Hockey Club replaced the original organization and recruited 130 players to its ranks, under the direction of its first president, 15-year-old Jake MacLeod.

The organization grew by leaps and bounds and soon became the Trail Minor Hockey Association in 1950 with over 500 boys registered and teams playing for regional and provincial championships.

In 1955, the first female hockey league in BC was formed in Trail with four teams competing.

Trail minor hockey director Charlie McLean then introduced Minor Hockey Week to the Silver City in 1957, with the slogan “Don’t send your boy to play hockey – Take him.”

The following year, the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association liked the idea so much, they made it an annual event celebrated across Canada.

The Kootenay Ice face off against the Vancouver Canadians at 11:30 a.m., followed by the Nitehawks in a highly touted tilt with the Kimberley Dynamiters at 3 p.m., and the Trail Smoke Eaters play the Merritt Centennials at 7 p.m.

Greater Trail minor hockey will also have games and tournaments going at other Greater Trail arenas.

“We’ve got the Pee Wee House tournament in Rossland and B.V., so all three rinks will be going all weekend,” said Maniago. “Two of our bantam house teams play in B.V. at 10:45 a.m. and then the Pee Wee Rep plays Spokane at 12:30 p.m.”

Admission to the Smokies and Nitehawk games is free to all minor hockey players, otherwise it is only $15 for all three games, $10 for two or $5 for the Smokies Day Pass. Attend the Hawks and Smoke Eaters games and receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a brand new Smoke Eaters World Championship jersey. There will also be a progressive 50/50 going all day long with the winner selected at the Smokies game.

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