Chilliwack’s Dylan DeBruyn helped his team to six wins and a championship at the 2016 National Aboriginal Hockey Championship.
The annual tournament was played May 1-7 in Mississauga, ON.
DeBruyn represented Team BC, which rolled through round-robin play with wins over Team Atlantic, Team Alberta and Team North. DeBruyn’s group steam-rolled Saskatchewan 6-2 in a quarter-final, then beat Manitoba in a thrilling semi.
Duncan native Keenan Eddy scored two minutes into overtime, giving BC a 3-2 and launching them into the final.
The gold medal game was a rematch against Team North.
DeBruyn and company blanked their foes 3-0 to take the title.
“We are so proud to bring the gold medal back home to BC,” said Team BC head coach Joe Quewezance. “The hard work, dedication and team dynamics were all incredible.”
“Each year we are impressed by the number of young talented Aboriginal hockey players in BC and once the team was selected we were confident our team was going to be a strong contender.”
Chilliwack’s Tana Mussell shared in the victory as Team BC’s manager.
The Team BC – NAHC partnership is a program of the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation & Physical Activity Partners Council (Partners Council) and sanctioned by BC Hockey.
The program provides an opportunity for BC’s top midget-age male and female Aboriginal hockey players to compete at nationals, which celebrates sport excellence as well as cultural unity and pride.
“This program is about more than elite hockey as it develops future leaders both on and off the ice,” said assistant coach (and Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief) Shane Gottfriedson. “This program is proof that investing in Aboriginal sport not only results in gold medals but also influences the way our communities see sport as a means for health and wellness.”