The Grand Forks Bruins like to compare themselves to the “little engine that could.” The PeeWee Rep team boasts only 10 players and 2 goalies, but the effort they put into every hockey game helped them tally another kind of win – the Canucks Centre Poster Contest.
The Canucks Centre Poster Contest, with support from BC Hockey and CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, invited PeeWee and Bantam minor hockey teams in British Columbia to celebrate their team’s history and pride. Fifteen teams from across the province entered the contest by submitting an original poster and written story demonstrating their team spirit. The many creative posters depicted team values, alumni, and community involvement and none did so better than the Grand Fork PeeWee Rep Bruins.
On Saturday, February 5th, the winner of the Canucks Centre Poster Contest was announced on Hockey Night in Canada. The Grand Forks Bruins patiently gathered together in front of the television to hear the good news. Needless to say, cheering and jumping was involved. One week later, the team collected their exciting Grand Prize.
The following Friday, February 11th, the team and their guests loaded onto a bus to make the seven hour journey to downtown Vancouver. After spending the night at the Hyatt Regency courtesy of the Vancouver Canucks, the team made a much shorter trip to Rogers Arena. Their day began by watching the Canucks game-day skate on Saturday morning. One player commented on what a beneficial experience it was for them to watch how the Canucks practice. Following the skate, the players, coaches, and parents fueled-up on a delicious game-day meal in the Sports Action Lounge. The team had free time in the afternoon to explore Vancouver and rest before the main event – watching the Vancouver Canucks take on the Calgary Flames.
The minor hockey team brought their winning luck to Rogers Arena, as the Canucks extinguished the Flames 4-2. Following the game, the players and their guests made their way down to ice-level and the players’ bench where they were greeted by Canucks forwards Mason Raymond, Jeff Tambellini and Jannick Hansen. The trio signed autographs and posed for photos while celebrating the victory with the awe-struck Bruins. The fun didn’t stop there for the team from Grand Forks.
February 12th marked CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada, and what better way to celebrate minor hockey than to host a minor hockey team on Hockey Night in Canada. The Grand Forks Bruins were up for the job and joined Scott Oakes, Kelly Hrudey, and Kevin Bieksa on After Hours for their television debut. Players had the opportunity to ask questions to Kevin Bieksa, including what his most memorable moment was as a Canuck.
As Scott Oakes signed off from After Hours, the Poster Contest winners’ day came to an end. It’s no doubt that their time at Rogers Arena will stand out as a memorable experience for the Grand Forks PeeWee Rep Bruins – the little team that could.
The Canucks Centre for BC Hockey, BC Hockey, and Hockey Night in Canada would like to thank all teams that entered the Canucks Centre Poster Contest. For more information about the Poster Contest, and other programs offered by the Canucks Centre for BC Hockey visit canucks.com/grassrootshockey or call 604-899-7770.
The Grand Forks PeeWee Rep Bruins are comparable to "The Little Engine That Could."
From their skeptical formation, challenging "above their tier-ing" tournament schedule, they've proven to be a cohesive, persevering little team (only 12 players!) who "think they can."
Most of our team has played together since beginning their hockey experience, bonding over the years through not only hockey, but also fundraising, international travel, and team-building activities. Perhaps our current winning can be traced back to the early 1900s....history tends to repeat itself.....
Phoenix (a ghost town 40km west of Grand Forks), had a provincial championship hockey team (1911). The Stanley Cup championship in 1915 between the Ottawa Senators and the Vancouver Millionaires had former Grand Forks player (and later,coach); "Mickey" MacKay on the Millionaires'team. In the entire final game, Vancouver's team never made a single substitution....something familiar with our small team!
Grand Forks Minor Hockey and the "Little team that could" are also extremely proud to claim former NHL players, Ron Areshenkoff, Steve Passmore, and Kevin Sawyer(presently coaching minor hockey in Grand Forks).
Yes, the "little engine" of Grand Forks PeeWee Rep Bruins, truly CAN!