PEI

P.E.I. girls hockey team set for 'trip of a lifetime'

The North River Pee Wee A Flames girls team is going to Ottawa to compete in the Bell Capital Cup Hockey Tournament.

North River team won a contest for chance to play on Parliament Hill rink in Ottawa

The North River Flames girls A team is one of 32 teams from across the country chosen to compete in the Canada 150 Division at this year's Bell Capital Cup. (Malcolm Campbell/CBC)

Two P.E.I. pee wee hockey teams won an invitation to Ottawa to compete in the Bell Capital Cup Hockey Tournament as part of its Canada 150 Division.

The North River Flames girls A team and the Pownal Pride boys A team are two of 32 teams — 16 male and 16 female — representing each province and territory at this year's event.

Coach Dale Gallant says he and his co-coach Kurt Taylor surprised the girls during a 'pretend' practice with news they had won the contest. (Malcolm Campbell/CBC)

Part of the draw for the contest was the chance to play on the Canada 150 Rink right on Parliament Hill.

"It's just going to be the trip of a lifetime really," said Dale Gallant, one of the Flames' coaches.

"We're looking forward to it, and it's going to be nice playing on the outdoor rink, just like the NHL boys." 

Making a video

Part of the contest involved teams getting creative in showing why they should get the tickets to Ottawa by putting their Canadian spirit on display in a 30-second video and 250-word essay.

The Flames decided to dress up in period costumes and take pictures around Charlottetown, and highlight some of the female rode models they admire.

The video was shot during the time the team would usually use for one practice and the costumes were provided by team manager Kristy Arsenault.

"We were thinking that in 1867 this is what the girls looked like," said North River player Kate Grant.

"We researched on some of the very popular girls who made a stand for girls' justice."

A few members of the North River Flames show off the costumes they wore for their contest entry video. (Malcolm Campbell/CBC)

Gallant's co-coach Kurt Taylor said everyone associated with the team put in a lot of hard work on the project.

"The girls did, the parents did, our fabulous manager did. I think it was a true team effort," Taylor said.

Hootin' and hollerin'

Gallant said the team manager told him to tell the girls about the contest win during a "pretend" practice to make it a surprise.

"We got there and kind of pretended for them to get ready and all that and then we came in and told them," he said.

"There was screaming, hootin' and hollerin' and everything else."

Leah MacPhail, left, and Kate Grant are both happy and excited to go to Ottawa with their team. (Malcolm Campbell/CBC)

Leah Taylor said she and the other players were surprised.

"We were expecting to just have a normal practice when the coach took out our practice board and it was written 'We're going to Ottawa.'"

Coach Taylor said he is hoping to win, but that isn't the main goal of the trip in his eyes. 

"My biggest hope is that everybody has a great time," he said. 

"You know it would be awesome to get a few wins, and do our best but I think just the experience will take care of itself and we're going to walk away with smiles on our faces regardless."

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