CORNER BROOK Jacob Bennett and Ryan Roche are looking forward to a first for their young hockey careers.
Both boys are on the provincial team headed to Moncton Oct. 5-8 for the Under-14 Atlantic Challenge Cup hockey tournament.
It is the first time either of them have been selected for a provincial team, and the first time they will travel out-of-province for a hockey tournament.
Bennett, from Cormack, and Roche, from Corner Brook, are the lone west-coasters to make the team.
“I’m excited,” said Roche, the son of Scott and Lori. “To play in other arenas and see what other teams are like.”
The tournament will feature 320 of the best young players in the Atlantic region, and there will be scouts there looking to unearth the next potential star.
But that doesn’t intimidate Bennett, whose parents are Cliff and Tara.
His approach is the same plan he rolled out in try-outs to make the team — score goals.
Bennett, who plays centre, said he’s hoping to keep playing hard and score six or eight goals in total while in Moncton.
He said it is the rush of skating fast and slapping shots that he loves the most about hockey, and the reason he keeps playing.
The boys had to make two separate cuts to find their names on the team’s final roster.
First try-outs were in April and then they travelled to Gander in August for a try at the short list.
“There was a lot of good hockey players, so I wasn’t positive I was going to make the team,” said Roche, who has been playing since he was four years old.
Now that Roche has made the team, he hopes to get noticed during the tournament.
“I’m going to give it my all and keep knocking people off the puck,” said the forward.
“Everyone said my dad was a good player, so I want to be like him.”
This is the 17th Atlantic Challenge Cup event.
The tournament was held in Corner Brook back in 1998, before either Bennett and Roche were born.