From left to right: Avery Cole, Kylie Scott and Nicole Gagnon. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Alberni Valley hockey tournament features all-female officiating crew

The three officials went through Alberni Valley Minor Hockey program

The most recent Bryan Mason Memorial Tournament at the Alberni Valley Multiplex featured something a little unusual—a game with an all-female officiating crew.

Kylie Scott, Nicole Gagnon and Avery Cole all grew up in Port Alberni and started playing hockey with the Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association (AVMHA) at a young age. It was through the AVMHA that they picked up an interest in officiating, as well. Minor hockey players with the club can start officiating as soon as they turn 12 years old.

“I started as young as you can,” explained Scott, who is currently a student at the University of Victoria. She comes back to her hometown of Port Alberni during breaks to volunteer with the local hockey club. “I thought it was cool and wanted to try it.”

Gagnon learned about the opportunity from Scott. “I found out you could get work experience, so I got involved,” she explained.

Gagnon currently attends North Island College in Port Alberni, and strives to balance school with work and volunteering. “I try not to overwork myself,” she added.

Cole is currently a student at Alberni District Secondary School and also plays bantam hockey with the AVMHA. “I definitely like playing more [than officiating],” she said. “I play on three different teams. Sometimes it’s a lot.”

Scott, who referees in Victoria, had a chance last year to officiate at a female peewee provincial tournament in Dawson Creek. Although there are many female players involved in hockey in Port Alberni, the AVMHA doesn’t have any all-female teams yet, which made it an unusual experience for Scott.

“It was awesome,” she said. “Terrifying, but awesome. It was different, because it was girls’ hockey, and we don’t have that here. That was a really cool experience.”

Scott says she likes officiating, rather than playing, because you get to see the “other side” of hockey.

“You just get a different perspective of the game,” she explained.

Gagnon, meanwhile, says she doesn’t necessarily like one or the other more.

“I like being on the ice as much as possible,” she said. “Officiating helps you play so much better because you know more of the rules. You know what’s going to happen.”

According to Francois Warren, the AVMHA referee-in-chief, it is “a bit of an oddity” to have all three girls on the ice at the same time. On Saturday, the three of them made up the whole officiating crew for one game, with Scott acting as referee and Gagnon and Cole as the linespersons.

“It definitely doesn’t happen very often,” he said.

“Every four or five games there will be two of us on the ice,” explained Gagnon.

“But with me in school, it doesn’t really happen this year,” added Scott.

The Bryan Mason Memorial Tournament, which drew teams to the Alberni Valley Multiplex from all over Vancouver Island, ran from Feb. 15-18 and featured both a peewee and bantam recreational tournament. One of Port Alberni’s peewee teams placed third in the tournament with a 7-3 win against Port Hardy, while the other team finished sixth. Port Alberni’s bantam teams finished sixth and eighth in the tournament.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Alberni homeowners wake up to would-be thief in their basement

Stolen items later found stashed at the end of the street

Shadow of Murder opens Feb. 21 at Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni

Classic whodunit comes from Canadian playwright Elizabeth Elwood

Wounded Warrior Run gets personal for Port Alberni RCMP participant

Run will come to Port Alberni on Thursday, Feb. 27; fundraising dinner planned for Legion Br. 293

Alberni Valley fire departments hold car wash to raise funds for Wounded Warriors Run

Come out Feb. 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to learn more about the run

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read