A quartet of hockey players from the Tri-Cities will hope to bring back national gold from Atlantic Canada in the new year.
BC Hockey has tapped local athletes Jordan Baxter, Gillian Lapierre and London McDavid for the 2023 Canada Winter Games to represent the province on its under-18 women's hockey team.
As well, Coquitlam's Benjamin Kindel will suit up on the under-16 men's side of the Prince Edward Island tournament in February and March.
All players were chosen from a series of try-out camps across B.C., and their current regular-season play also played a role in their selection.
"It was the hardest selection process I have been a part of and each player gave it everything they had," said B.C. female under-18 coach Kris Hogg in a release.
"Now we move ahead with more preparation heading into the Canada Winter Games and I am extremely excited to continue the growth of this group, on-and-off the ice, as we prepare for the biggest stage in P.E.I."
Baxter, a Coquitlam product, recently received a second call from Canada to play for the national team at the under-18 women's worlds in Sweden.
The 17-year-old Delta Hockey Academy captain has posted 18 goals and 30 points in 16 games this season, good enough for second among female under-18 prep players in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL).
She and Lapierre of Port Coquitlam are looking to win back-to-back gold with Team B.C. after claiming first at the 2021 western regional championships.
As of this publication (Dec. 25), Lapierre is averaging a point per game with 11 in 11 contests with the Fraser Valley Rush, who claimed the silver medal at the 2022 Esso Cup.
McDavid currently has 17 points in 16 games with Delta Hockey Academy.
Baxter, Lapierre and McDavid are all alumni of the Tri-Cities Predators Female Ice hockey Association.
Team B.C.'s women's team are the reigning bronze medalists from the last Canada Winter Games in 2019.
Meanwhile, Kindel has tallied 12 assists and 18 points in 15 games with Abbotsford's Yale Hockey Academy - also members of the CSSHL.
The Calgary Hitmen prospect is tied for second on the Lions under-18 prep squad's stats sheet.
The B.C. men's hockey team has yet to claim a national medal since 2011, when the province won gold in Halifax.
The 2023 Canada Winter Games in P.E.I. is set for Feb. 18 to March 5.