Alex Rowley is a defender with SFU.

Alex Rowley is a defender with SFU.

Maple Ridge goalie picked for Team Pacific

'This is deep team with a good combination of skill, size and character'

Nick McBride, a goalie from Maple Ridge, has been named to Team Pacific, which will compete at the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia at the end of December.

McBride, 6’3’’ and 176 pounds, played most of his minor hockey at Burnaby Winter Club. He now plays in the WHL with the Prince Albert Raiders, with whom he is 3-2 with a 2.63 goals-against average and .930 save percentage.

The Raiders, who picked McBride in the second round, 23rd overall in 2012, 12-8-2, third in the Western Conference.

McBride is one of 22 players chose for Team Pacific, 13 from B.C. and nine from Alberta.  Hockey Alberta and B.C. Hockey each identified 23 U17 male athletes (three goalies,  seven defensemen, 13 forwards) to take part in the Team Pacific Summer Camp that took part in Calgary, AB on July 24-28.  From the Summer Camp, these players were evaluated during the first part of their club’s team season by a Team Pacific evaluation group.

“The selection process for this team was very in-depth and the coaching staff feels very positive about the roster that’s been assembled,” said Team Pacific Head Coach, Steve Hamilton. “We think this is a very deep team with a good combination of skill, size and character – all the elements needed to play a versatile game.”

The 2014 World U17 Hockey Challenge brings together the top players in the world born 1997 or later.

The tournament is made up of 10 teams; five from Canada – Quebec, Ontario, Pacific (Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon), Atlantic (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island) and West (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut) and five international teams.

Team Pacific will compete in Group A at the World U17 Hockey Challenge with Team West, Team Quebec, Sweden and Czech Republic.

Group B will comprise of Germany, USA, Team Ontario, Team Atlantic and Russia.

Team Pacific will play an exhibition game against Russia on Dec. 28. Its first preliminary game is Dec. 29 against Team Quebec.

“In such a short-term competition, we’ll want to play a high-paced game, requiring contributions from every player. I feel confident in the depth and talent of Team Pacific,” added Hamilton.

The gold medal game will be held Jan. 4, 2014 – 7 p.m., and will be shown on TSN/RDS.

At the 2013 World U17 Hockey Challenge in Victoriaville and Drummondville, Que., Team Pacific finished in fifth place after defeating Team Ontario 7-6.


Top defender

Alex Rowley of Maple Ridge was awarded the GNAC Conference Defensive Player of the Year and a 2013 Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Conference First Team selection.

Rowley is a midfielder with the Simon Fraser University men’s soccer team and had six assists in 14 games, as well as 20 shots, eight on goal.

The Clan opened the NCAA Tournament Thursday in Los Angeles against Cal-Baptist. The winner is to play top-ranked Cal State Los Angeles on Saturday.


New curling leader

Although playing without their skip Andy Ferguson, Max Albrechtsen led his rink to a 9-4 win this past week, moving the team into first place in the Haney Master’s Curling league at Golden Ears Winter Club.

Along with Ed Belsey (third) and Clifford Wells (second), the Ferguson rink defeated Angelo Masaro to take a one-point lead in the standings.

With the loss, Masaro dropped into a tie for second with Lorne Fletcher, who earned a fifth straight win, downing the rink of Wayne Chin (skip), George Lagerstrom (third), Wally Phillips (second) and Svend Neilson (lead).


Ramblers win

The Maple Ridge secondary junior boys’ soccer team advanced to the Fraser Valley championship final with a 2-1 win over L.A. Matheson on Wednesday.

Felipe Viera opened the scoring in the first half for the Ramblers. Cole Severinksy then netted the winner late in the game off his own shot.

The final is Monday.

Meanwhile, the Maple Ridge secondary senior girls’ volleyball team won 3-1 Tuesday to earned a wildcard birth the Fraser Valley playoffs. The Ramblers played Elgin park on Wednesday.