Dauphin Kings connect with the kids
Swinging from the monkey bars, shooting hoops in the school basketball court and sharing video game tips wasn’t what the Dauphin Kings had in mind when they rolled into Vernon for the RBC Cup.
But getting to meet some fans across the country at one of the region’s elementary schools was a great way to spend the day (and act like a kid again).
And it was as equally a treat for the Grade 6 Coldstream Elementary students who got to meet the players, and to play with them.
“We even got free tickets to go and watch them,” said Bailey Phillips, as she searched for her adopted player to ask him some questions.
The class had been following the Manitoba team since the season started, along with a few others in the league.
In fact, 10 local schools were taking part in the contest with each class following several teams.
“It was kind of like a hockey pool,” said teacher Chad Soon of the RBC Cup contest with the schools.
Out of the 137 teams in 10 leagues, there are four teams who earned a spot at the junior A hockey championships alongside the host Vernon Vipers.
As if a spot in the tournament wasn’t enough, each of the five teams also earned a visit with some local kids at Ellison, Alexis Park, Silver Star and Coldstream elementary.
“We won, out of like 100 classrooms,” said Coldstream’s Kalum Leboe.
The students gave the teams a royal welcome to town last weekend, decorating their dressing rooms and then cheering them on before the hockey stars made their school visits.
Kings 21-year-old defenceman Brett Hope enjoyed chatting and visiting with the students, and swapping video game tips with Leboe. And he was equally enjoying the climate and scenery of Vernon.
“It’s awesome, I love it,” said No. 24.
Soon, also a volunteer at the Cup, was impressed with the time the players took off ice to spend with the kids and he was equally impressed by the kids.
“It’s nice to see they can embrace and be welcoming to another team and be sportsmanlike and