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UBCO and Thompson Rivers University are being considered for admission in intercollegiate hockey loop

UBCO on hockey radar

University hockey could be coming to the Southern Interior.

The BC Intercollegiate Hockey League has established an expansion committee, and according to league president Chris Munshaw, the league is pursuing both UBC Okanagan and Thompson Rivers University.

They are also looking at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford.

Munshaw tells Castanet News the expansion discussion is in its early stages, but says the early interest has been good.

"We're working on timelines right now, but we're not sure what a season will look like" says Munshaw, referencing ongoing concerns over COVID-19.

"We will try and get one or more teams competing this year, either through a series of exhibition games and tournament or a full 24-game season."

The league presently has just three teams, Simon Fraser University, UVic, and Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo.

Muunshaw says Selkirk College ended their hockey program recently for budgetary reasons while Trinity West is moving up to U Sports to play in the Canada West League.

Teams would be self-funded, at least initially, which is a model similar to other league members.

"Each sport club has a separate non-profit society and, in some cases, a registered charity to handle fundraising.

"They look after fundraising, sponsorships and donations."

Players must be students registered at each institution in order to be eligible to play.

As for the Kelowna entry, Munshaw says they already have a short-list of potential athletes from within Kelowna and the surrounding area.

"We have an organizing committee in Kelowna on the ground who have pretty strong hockey resumes," says Munshaw.

"Some of them are BCIHL graduates, while some have worked in the BCHL and Junior B ranks as well."

Click here if you are interested in playing, or helping out in some capacity.



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