Indigenous hockey players from B.C. landed on the podium of a prestigious tournament on the east coast last weekend.
And both the girls and boys teams included talent from the Tri-Cities.
B.C. won the bronze medal in each category at the 2022 National Aboriginal Hockey Championship (NAHC), which took place May 7 to 14 in Membertou, N.S.
Four local products of First Nations descent under 18 years old — two on each team — were selected to represent the province this year.
This was the first NAHC competition after the last two were cancelled due to the then state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Port Moody's Kya Moss and Coquitlam's Sydney Menard captured third place with B.C. after aiding the team to an overall tournament record of 5-3.
B.C. won the bronze by the score of 4-1 over Saskatchewan with Moss contributing an assist in the final match en route to the medal.
The 18-year-old identifies as a member of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band.
That helper was one of eight points Moss acquired in eight games played at the NAHC, including three goals and five assists.
Spectators to the girls tournament would've witnessed Moss' talent as a preview for what could come in the fall as, earlier this year, she committed to playing collegiate hockey at St. Francis Xavier University, also in Nova Scotia.
Menard was listed as a first alternate for Team B.C.
At 14 years old, the Tri-Cities Predators defence was one of the youngest members of the roster.
British Columbia's results were as follows:
- 4-1 win over Saskatchewan (Bronze medal match)
- 3-1 loss to Ontario (semi-final)
- 9-0 win over Team Atlantic (quarter-final)
- 3-2 loss to Ontario
- 8-2 win over Team Atlantic
- 7-1 loss to Manitoba
- 9-1 win over Team Eastern Door and the North
- 5-2 win over Saskatchewan
Coquitlam's Sullivan Menard scored one goal at the NAHC in helping B.C. to amass a 4-3 record and earn the bronze medal.
The third-place finish meant back-to-back bronze medals for the squad as they also captured the same hardware at the 2019 event.
Kieran Lige was also part of the provincial squad. The defenceman is a product of the Tri-Cities-based Vancouver North East Chiefs program.
As well, Derry Menard and Doneau Menard were also named assistant head coaches for B.C.
The boys' team's results were as follows:
- 4-1 win over Team Eastern Door and the North (Bronze medal match)
- 4-1 loss to Ontario (semi-final)
- 7-5 win over Team North (quarter-final)
- 6-0 loss to Saskatchewan
- 5-0 win over Tream Atlantic
- 3-2 win over Team Eastern Door and the North
- 6-4 loss to Team North