Team BC received an injection of Yukon blood at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships last week in Saskatoon.
With five Yukon girls on the bench, BC went on to take fifth place ahead of NWT.
“It was a very high level tournament and our girls did really well,” said Louis Bouchard, assistant coach of Team BC, who was also head coach of Team Yukon at the Canada Winter Games.
“All five players had an awesome tournament. Sometimes it doesn’t show on their stat-sheet, but when they were on the ice they did their job.”
Not only did Team BC pick up some Yukoners, the team had a healthy cross-section of Yukon talent with four communities represented. On the bench were Tshayla Nothstein from Faro, Natalja Blanchard from Dawson, Lynsey Keaton from Whitehorse plus Brittney Brown and Sierra Oakley from Haines Junction.
“It was awesome, it was so fun,” said Nothstein. “The accommodations were really good, all the BC people were really nice and the coaches were amazing.”
BC took a total of two wins in Saskatoon, both against NWT. They opened the championships beating the lone territorial team 6-3 with Nothstein getting a goal and assist. BC then closed out the tournament playing NWT for fifth, winning 9-1 with another goal from Nothstein and one from Oakley.
Nothstein produced a total of four goals and an assist in the tournament while Keaton also had an assist.
After their first win, BC took losses to Albert and Manitoba (which picked up a few players from Nunavut), before tying the top-seeded Eastern Door & North, from northern Quebec and the east coast, 1-1. Eastern Door & North went on to finish second behind Saskatchewan.
“That was definitely the best game,” said Nothstein. “It was really fun and intense. As usual the Yukon players never gave up, just kept going at it. It was awesome.
“For all the other girls, I think they should be really proud because they played really well,” she added. “And although some of them didn’t get as much ice-time as they thought they would, when they did, they played their hardest.”
Contact Tom Patrick at