Nelson’s Aimee DiBella is one of 28 players looking to land a spot on the Team B.C. squad that will represent the province at the Canada Winter Games in February of 2011.
DiBella, a member of the Kootenay Wildcats Female hockey club, is joined by current teammate Daley Oddy of Cranbrook and former Cat rearguard Ella Matteucci of Fruitvale.
The trio will participate along with the rest of Team B.C. at the UBC Thunderbird’s Women’s Hockey Tournament at the Doug Mitchell Arena in Vancouver.
The four-team tournament begins today and concludes Sunday with the medal round. Joining Team B.C. is the host T-Birds, Carleton University and the University of Toronto.
“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to compete at this level as part of our selection and development process,” said Team B.C. Director of Operations Bruce Tuck.
The teams play a round robin draw beginning today with the top two teams meeting for the tourney title Sunday afternoon. Team B.C. opens against the host Thunderbirds tonight before concluding the round robin Saturday against Carleton and then U of T.
The tournament is important to Team B.C. players as evaluators will use the competition to select the final roster that will represent the province at the Canada Winter Games in Halifax. The final roster will consist of two goaltenders and 18 skaters.
Selections are based on observations made prior to the tournament as well as performance during the event.
The university competition will mirror was Team B.C. will face during the Canada Winter Games. The tournament is the fifth stage in the selection process.
The Kootenay trio first caught the eyes of evaluators during last year’s female hockey season and was selected to participate in district camps.
Stage two had the trio compete in the Female U18 B.C. Cup in Cowichan Valley in April.
Successful players were invited to the Female U18 Provincial Camp in May.
The top 28 players then spent a weekend getting put through a tough weekend at the Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt in Victoria.
The camp was highlighted when the players visited the naval ship, the HMCS Protecteur. The HMCS Protecteur is a supply ship to the Canadian Naval fleet when at sea.
The players were given a tour of the ship by some of the female crew, who also shared their stories and experiences of working on the ship and the Canadian Navy.