There will be an international look to the 45th Coca-Cola Pee Wee Invitational Hockey Tournament, Feb. 11-14, at Civic Arena.
Tournament officials have selected the visiting seven teams with the Idaho Junior Steelheads of Boise and the Alaska Fairbanks Arctic Lions representing the U.S.
The Vernon Watkin Motors Mustangs will be joined in the Coca-Cola Division by the Steelheads, Dawson Creek Canucks and Glenlake Hawks of Calgary.
The Lions will be in the Sun Valley Division with the St. Albert Sabres, Nelson Maple Leafs and Fort St. John Flyers.
“We had close to 25 applications this year, and it was tough narrowing it down to seven,” said tourney director Glenn (Stumpy) Mitchell.
Each team is guaranteed five regulation games with the A and B finals set for the Sunday.
Guest speaker for the tournament banquet on the Saturday night at the Vernon Atrium Hotel & Conference Centre will be announced soon.
Vernon has won the Coke Classic six times, including three in a row, from 2006-08.
Local alumni who have gone on to the NHL include Vernon’s Curtis Lazar, Brad Larsen, Jason Podollan, Brent Gilchrist, Sandy Moger, Jeff Finley, Matt Higgins and Rudy Poeschek.
Barry Pederson and Tony Feltrin, both of the Nanaimo Clippers in the 1974 tournament, Doug Bodger of Fuller Lake in 1979, Greg Hawgood of St. Albert in 1980, Ray Whitney and Richard Matvichuk, both of Fort Saskatchewan in 1986 and Morgan Reilly from Hollyburn in 2006 are other famous alumni.
n California’s Fremont Flyers will remember the Vernon kid wearing sweater No. 13.
Nicholas Bolin torched the Flyers for five goals, helping the Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Vipers dump the Flyers 7-2 in their opening game Wednesday afternoon at the 48th annual Kamloops International Bantam Hockey Tournament at the McArthur Island Sports Centre.
The Vipers are competing in the 20-team Tier 2 Division.
Bolin scored twice in the second period, to give the Vipers a 3-2 lead, then added three of the team’s four unanswered third-period markers.
Colby Feist and Cole Johnson had the other two goals for Vernon while Nicholas Teale picked up four assists.
Jaiz Barner had both goals for the Flyers.
Kobe Grant and Tyler Sedlacek split the goaltending duties for Vernon, who played the Williams Lake Timberwolves Thursday, and the North Delta Sundevils Friday, in round-robin action.
The Vernon bantam reps lost the first-ever KIBHT tournament final in 1969 to the North Shore Winter Club of North Vancouver.
n North Okanagan Minor Hockey Association will host the B.C. Pee Wee Tier 4 Championships, March, 13-16, in Armstrong and Enderby.
There will be eight teams, including the host Knights, in the tournament which will include a ceremonial banquet with a guest speaker at the new Splatsin First Nation Cultural Centre in Enderby.
The Knights and host committee have a done a bottle drive in Enderby and a 50-50 draw at the Armstrong Demolition Derby to help raise funds to run the championships.