The Haisla Braves in action against the Terrace Providers. (Photo Gerry Leibel)

A soccer bonanza for local soccer fans

First of many tournaments for the region

Kitimat soccer fans were spoiled for choice during the Haisla Annual Soccer Tournament which ran from Friday until Sunday this weekend.

Seven men’s and six women’s teams from across the northwest competed in the tournament, battling it out over three days on two soccer pitches, at Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary School and at Riverlodge.

The teams played a total of 23 games, 10 for the ladies and 13 for the men.

The competition was fierce and the standard of play was high. None of the Kitimat teams – the Haisla Braves, Haisla Thunder, Haisla Lightning, People of the Snow and a team from Rio Tinto BC Works – made it past the semi-finals.

While the Haisla Braves had a good lineup, the team lost five players to injury.

On Sunday, in the men’s division, the semi-final saw the teams from Prince Rupert and Terrace playing to an intense 1-1 draw when the final whistle went. Both teams, tired from playing in the scorching heat, had to line up for not just one, but two penalty shootouts.

The Terrace Providers narrowly won the second shootout, which put them into the final against Hazelton.

A rested Hazelton team annihilated the Providers, the end result a 5-0 loss for the Terrace team.

Top honours went to Hazelton, who won an Allstar award as well as Best Goalie, Prince Rupert, with two Allstar awards, and Terrace with an Allstar and the Best Defenceman award.

The final standings for the men’s division were Hazelton in first, followed by Terrace, Prince Rupert, Rio Tinto, Haisla Braves, Haisla Thunder, and Kitwanga in seventh.

In the women’s division, the final between Prince Rupert and Terrace Providers was a nailbiting affair, the final score 3-1 to Prince Rupert.

The semi-final between Kitwanga Wildcats and Prince Rupert was also a tense affair, the game going to Prince Rupert following another penalty shootout.

Prince Rupert took first place, with Terrace Providers in second, Kitwanga Wildcats in third and Haisla Lightning in fourth.

One of the organizers, Paul Gray, said the tournament was a reminder of years gone by when soccer was one of the most popular sporting codes in Kitimat and Kitamaat Village.

READ MORE: Soccer makes a comeback in Kitimat

He said based on the interest shown in this year’s tournament – initially, 13 men’s teams were registered to play – the men’s and women’s matches will most likely be played on separate weekends in next year’s tournament.

“There are only so many referees in the region – they take half of them and we take half of them. The refs pretty much have to do the whole tournament – there’s no rest for them.”

He said the men’s games will most likely be played on the Canada Day weekend.

“We have to leave room for activities on July 1 though. Sometimes local teams like to play soccer matches like back in the old days. Every July 1 there used to be a mini-tournament which Kitimat always hosted,” said Gray.

He added that while the decision to host tournaments in Kitimat on July 1 again would probably not go down well with the organizers of tournaments outside the northwest, it was only fair that tournaments also be played locally.

“We spend thousands of dollars to go to tournaments in order for them to happen. People don’t mysteriously turn up at the tournaments.”

He said the organizers are looking to work together with the Kitimat Youth Soccer Association to get younger players – U8, U10 and U14 – into next year’s tournament.

Typos? Email the editor!

Sports news? Email the newsroom

Follow us on Twitter


Haisla Lightning against Terrace Providers.

People of the Snow against Terrace Providers.

Just Posted

CN train derailment cleared between Terrace and Prince Rupert

The CN mainline is now open, following a train derailment mid-way between… Continue reading

Kitimat’s BC Hydro substation receives a massive upgrade

It will cost $82 million to ensure that LNG Canada has enough… Continue reading

Comment requested for Kitimat LNG’s expansion plans

Company says radical redesign means additional export is possible

Haisla Nation Council appoints Stewart, Renwick

Two recently elected Haisla Nation councillors, Kevin Stewart and Arthur Renwick, have… Continue reading

Relief in sight from open burn pollution

New regulations should cut down on air pollution

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Injured fawn at B.C. vet will be euthanized Friday night unless claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer is currently being treated at West Kelowna’s Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

B.C. First Nation’s group using ads in Texas targeting company for fuel spill

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Most Read