Falcons to fly high at B.C. Winter Games

The Surrey Falcons hockey team is having a stellar season. Nearly all the players have been chosen to compete in the B.C. Winter Games next month.  - BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER
The Surrey Falcons hockey team is having a stellar season. Nearly all the players have been chosen to compete in the B.C. Winter Games next month.
— image credit: BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER

The Surrey Falcons are having an outstanding season.

And BC Hockey has acknowledged it.

Tryouts for zone teams for the B.C. Winter Games were staged Jan. 3-5, and 13 players from the Falcons have been selected to play in the elite tournament for under-16 female players.

There were roughly 50 players from across the Fraser Valley competing for the 20 positions on the Fraser Valley (Zone Three) team, and more than half the roster will be comprised of Falcons.

Mackenzie Brown, Sophia Christopherson, Emily Duchak, Emily Laroue, Nicola Murray, Danika Pasqua, Alicia Perez, Jessie Sanghe, Priya Sidhu, Sadie Stoppler, Mya Taylor and Tessa Younger will wear the light blue uniforms of the Fraser Valley team. Brown, however, will miss the Games due to a recent injury.

Shona Bal, a Falcons player who resides in North Delta, will play at the Feb. 20-23 B.C. Winter Games in Mission with the Fraser Delta (Zone 4) team. BC Hockey selects the zone teams as part of its Female High Performance Program.

“They all played very well during the tryouts,” said Falcons assistant coach Don Murray, admitting it was a surprise 13 players from one team were selected.

“We do have a strong team.”

Not all the players are Surrey residents, but come from communities without a Bantam A female team. Christopherson and Pasqua hail from Langley, while Duchak lives in Maple Ridge.

The Falcons are in second place in the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association’s female Bantam A league with a 12-2-4 (won-lost-tied) record, trailing only the 15-2-1 North Shore Avalanche.

They have attended three tournaments, winning in Richmond and San Jose while placing second in Calgary after falling 4-1 to the Avalanche in the championship game.

With the regular season nearing an end, the Falcons will focus on qualifying for the provincial championships after the B.C. Winter Games concludes.

“We thought we might have a shot at the provincials early this season,” said Murray. “We picked up some strong players from Langley and Maple Ridge, and after a few practices, it all came together.”

Mission is hosting the 2014 B.C. Winter Games, which run Feb. 20-23 at venues in Mission, Township of Langley, Pitt Meadows, Hemlock, and Whistler.

The Games will include participants from across B.C. in 18 sports. Athletes will range in age from nine to 40 years old.

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