Playing for Team BC as it took the National Aboriginal Hockey Championship title was a highlight in Darian Harris’s athletic career; and a step along the road to his future goals.
“It was such an experience,” said the 17 year-old Stz’uminus player of the May 7 victory, which put a perfect wrap on a week-long tournament held in Mississauga Ontario. “It was so unreal, I haven’t won anything like that in a long time.”
The left winger was part of a team that made a clean sweep of its games in the tournament, grasping gold at last after having earned silver in 2014 and bronze in 2015.
“We are so proud to bring the gold medal back home to BC,” said Head Coach Joe Quewezance after the final game.
“The hard work, dedication, and the team dynamics were all incredible. Each year we are impressed by the number of young talented aboriginal hockey players in B.C. Once the team was selected, we were confident our team was going to be a strong contender.”
Team BC advanced from the round robin ranked first overall, with convincing wins over Team Atlantic, Team Alberta, and Team North, said a report in the Team BC newsletter.
In the quarter-finals, Team BC beat Saskatchewan 6-2, earning a spot in the semi-finals against Team Manitoba. The semi-final thriller ended when Duncan’s Keenan Eddy scored two minutes into overtime, giving B.C. a 3-2 victory.
The gold medal game featured a Team North rematch. Team BC dominated the game through an entire team effort, both offensively and defensively, resulting in an impressive 3-0 win.
For Harris the game was a highlight moment, but he’s already focused on the future.
He played last season with the Junior A Orangeville Ice Crushers (Orangeville is about 50 km northwest of Mississauga). From there he’s hoping to land a berth on the Cowichan Valley Capitals Junior A team. Harris has been invited to the team’s main camp after performing well at spring camp.
He’ll be pushing hard to earn a spot. “That’s my big goal for next year,” he said taking time to talk to the Chronicle after a workout.
Being on the winning bench isn’t a new experience for Harris. He first tried out skates at age three, through the Can Skate program; in his second year of Bantam he played with the Stars, a team that went 43 and 2 for the season.
“That’s when I thought I was really going to make it somewhere in hockey,” he said.
Hockey is a big part of his future. Harris hopes to earn a university hockey scholarship, probably in the U.S. “My goal is to get a scholarship and play college hockey in the States,” he said.
You could say the puck drops every morning as far as Harris is concerned, and it’s his job to get it up-ice and into the net.