Vernon’s Jenna Fletcher of the Thompson Okanagan Lakers has been awarded an athletic scholarship with Vancouver’s UBC Thunderbirds.

UBC Thunderbirds ink Jenna Fletcher

No need to stand outside the UBC Thunderbirds hockey office with a placard stating she will play college hockey for free...

No need to package together any eye-popping highlight videos. No need to stand outside the UBC Thunderbirds hockey office with a placard stating she will play college hockey for free.

All Jenna Fletcher had to do was play her game for the Thompson Okanagan Lakers and let her offensive statistics speak for themselves. The CIS Canada West T-Birds noticed the Vernon minor hockey product and offered her a scholarship for the 2017-18 season.

“It’s a goal that I had and it feels good to have it all done so I don’t have to worry about it next year,” said the Grade 11 VSS student. “It was an easy process because they came to me. Most girls have to approach the schools on their own.”

Fletcher, a 5-foot-10 right winger, rang up 18 goals and 26 points in 27 games with the B.C. Major Midget Female Hockey League Lakers based in Vernon. She was second in goals behind Elexa Pakozdy of the Greater Vancouver Comets. The feisty Fletcher compiled 39 penalty minutes. Fletcher amassed 13 goals and 27 points in her rookie season.

“First thing we saw about Jenna was her size, her skill and her abilities,” said UBC head coach Graham Thomas. “She skates well for her size, has a nose for the net, good hands and a good reach.

“She also has the character, personality, attitude and work-ethic. She matched everything we look for.”

The third-place Lakers swept the last-place Kootenay Wildcats in opening playoff action before falling 2-1 in a thrilling semifinal series with the Comets. All three games finished 3-2.

Lakers teammate Christy Blackburne of West Kelowna said teams need players like Fletcher to win.

“She is great around the net and has the natural ability to put the pucks into the back of the net which, at the end of the day, is how you win a hockey game,” said Blackburne.

Fletcher, who turned 17 on Valentine’s Day, took up hockey in Grade 2 and signed up for extra skating lessons. After one year of Atom House, she made the Atom Rep Development team which consisted mainly of boys.

She played Pee Wee Tier 2 Rep with boys and then was coached by Brent Magnus and Keith Tucker with the Sladen Moore Bantam Rep Laker girls. This is her second season under West Kelowna’s Mark Henderson.

“Overall, I would say my skating is my strong point and my ability to get scoring chances. I see the ice well and I have a pretty quick release when I shoot. Games can get pretty physical and I’m pretty determined. My mental side is good so I have consistency. I can be hard on myself but recognize when I can be working harder. I usually ask myself: ‘What kind of shift was that?’”

Blackburne calls Fletcher a team leader.

“She largely leads by example with her consistent good performance on the ice,” said Blackburne. “She uses her voice well and is very quick, many things that are really easy for girls to look up to. It was a pleasure to be able to play with her.”

UBC assistant coach Mike Sommer has worked closely with Fletcher, who has earned an athletic scholarship. Fletcher knew Sommer from provincial Under 18 team tryouts. She attends trials May long weekend on Vancouver Island with 20 players being chosen for the nationals.

Fletcher cheers for the Vancouver Canucks and loves watching Patrick Kane dazzle for the Chicago Blackhawks. She trains in the summer with Sam Mowat in Vernon, adding muscle and working her core. She also practised three times a week with the On The Edge hockey academy run by Jason Boden.

She took in a UBC-University of Regina Cougars game this year and was impressed with “the quick pace.”

The daughter of Dave and Barb Fletcher was born in Vernon and went to Hillview Elementary. She also enjoys water skiing, volleyball and soccer. She plans to study something in the sciences.

 

Just Posted

Vernon gym shows heart for North Okanagan Hospice

Iron Heart Gym hosts fundraiser for Hospice and the 2019 Dancing With the Vernon Stars

Lumby Fire Department douses potential wildfire

Site was barely out of their jurisdiction, but department put out fire at request of BC Wildfire

UPDATE: B.C. Hydro explain vandalism that caused Vernon power outage

According to B.C. Hydro, around 2,400 Vernon residents were without power from 4:30- 7 p.m. Monday

SPCA seek public’s help for cat found injured on Vernon road

Stallone is suffering from several injuries and remains in SPCA care

Man arrested in Kelowna following Shuswap vehicle thefts, pursuit

Suspect wanted in Alberta allegdly also stole several vehicles near Sicamous over the weekend

West Kelowna vet saves turtle from hook

Dr. Moshe Oz removed fish hook lodged in the turtle’s throat

Anglican Church to review governance structure after same-sex marriage change fails

Some say the current system to change doctrine gives too much voting power to a smaller class of bishops

B.C. adding fast-charge stations for electric highway trips

Okanagan, Vancouver Island, Kootenay stations ready for use

Comedian Gerry Dee ready to lighten things up at BC Hockey Hall of Fame

Canadian actor and stand-up comedian Gerry Dee is hosting the event in Penticton

Casa Loma residents petition to halt proposed Blackmun Bay project

West Kelowna City Council grants second reading for what would be the city’s largest development

South Okanagan RCMP seize firearms from residence

Penticton RCMP blocked access to a cul de sac off Pineview Road on Tuesday

The Okanagan’s master tailor from Chile

Sam Galvez started his business 6 years ago and hasn’t stopped loving it

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

Boat sails from trailer to pavement at Sicamous Highway 97A intersection

Alberta resident charged with transporting insecure load, failing to adequately connect trailer

Most Read