U18 C6 Rustlers bagged silver and pizzas instead of swag bags during the tournament in Campbell River. (Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association/Special to The News)

U18 C6 Rustlers bagged silver and pizzas instead of swag bags during the tournament in Campbell River. (Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association/Special to The News)

Rustlers donate their winning pizza to homeless shelter

Bring home Silver from the Campbell River tournament

Ridge Meadows U-18 C6 team went to Campbell River last weekend to compete in their local tournament and ended up winning some hearts.

After the finals, the tournament provided pizza instead of swag bags, and the team decided to donate those pizzas to a homeless shelter, said head coach Dean Hamilton.

“The tournament provided post-game pizza, and while this was appreciated, we already had a team dinner planned. Our player Josh Smith quickly realized there was not a lot of interest in the pizza amongst the team and didn’t want it to go to waste. He recalled his dad pointing out a homeless shelter near our hotel and thought that we could give it to them. Captain Jack Hamilton shared Josh’s idea with the team and encouraged every team member to meet in the lobby of our hotel, where they proceeded to walk the pizza over to the shelter,” he said, adding that Smith presented the pizzas to a very appreciative group of people.

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The team also played very well going undefeated en route to the gold medal game. However, a valiant effort was not quite enough to beat the strong local team in the final. The team still came home with a silver medal.

Strong performances by Henson Han, Rylin Mckenzie, Alex Cihelka and Jack Hamilton earned themselves individual game MVP’s during the tournament.

“Henson scored his first goal of the season to highlight his great game. Both Rylin and Alex scored four goals in their games to earn MVP, while Jack scored two goals in the final to earn his honours,” said coach Dean.

According to Dean, an early season tournament like this, will allow the team a great opportunity to bond and would go a long way to a fun and successful season for the team.

“While success on the ice was great, what was truly a highlight of the weekend was the wonderfully unselfish gesture of the team after our game Saturday. This unselfish act was truly what the coaching staff and parents of these kids will be most proud of from this past weekend,” said Dean.

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