Preview for CFB Esquimalt’s sports season

CFB Esquimalt Tritons

Peter Mallett, 
Staff Writer 

Athletes with CFB Esquimalt’s sports teams are preparing to defend their titles and repeat last year’s remarkable gold medal haul of 11 regional sports titles. 

The Tritons’ overwhelming success at Canada West play in 2023 included gold medals in men’s and women’s hockey, volleyball, soccer and slo-pitch while our men’s basketball team, senior hockey team and Tritons Grappling team also won gold.

Our men’s hockey team will face their first test on Jan. 21 when Canada West tournament play begins at the Edmonton Garrison Twin Rinks. Petty Officer First Class (PO1) Curtis Gillies, Triton Assistant Captain and left-winger, says he and his teammates are confident they can successfully defend their Canada West crown and have better success at the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) National Championship Tournament on March 3 in Shilo, Man.
“We’ve been building a team and a system over the past few seasons, and we expect we can win at the Nationals,” PO1 Gillies said. “We hope to put it all together this year before a few of our key players move on to other postings after this season.”

At last year’s Canada West tournament, Esquimalt started slow, with two opening-round losses. They then rebounded to defeat the tournament hosts with a 5-4 overtime victory. Their quest for the national gold medal was derailed at the National Championship tournament in Wainwright, Alta., as Esquimalt suffered a 5-4 double overtime loss to Valcartier in the tournament semi-final. 

PO1 Gillies says many familiar faces are returning to the team this year, including forwards Sailor First Class Derek Cheetham and MVP Sub-Lieutenant Noah Kenny. The Tritons lost one of its key players, forward Acting Sub-Lieutenant Darcy McHugh, to an offseason posting. However, they gained two new defences: Lieutenant (Navy) Braden Casper and Second Lieutenant Cole Noble.

In preparation for their title defence, the Tritons have been holding weekly practices at Wurtele Arena and playing two weekly games in the Victoria Hockey League.

Our senior men’s hockey team begins play at the Canada West Old Timers Hockey Tournament in Wainwright, Alta., on Jan. 28. They also struck gold and went undefeated in last season’s Canada West tournament in Cold Lake, Alta. Their dream for a national title was shattered after falling 2-1 in double overtime to eventual champions Ottawa at the CAF National Championship tournament hosted by Esquimalt last April.

Another big test for the Blue and Gold comes next month on the hardwood, when the Tritons men’s basketball team begins Canada West play in Moose Jaw, Sask., on Feb. 12. They settled for a silver medal at the CAF Basketball Championship with an 88-72 loss to Halifax in last May’s tournament final in Shearwater, N.S.. The Tritons qualified for the National Championship after compiling a perfect 5-0 record at the Canada West Regional tournament in Edmonton in February 2023. They compiled an impressive 8-2 overall record in tournament play last season.  

Women’s team getting ready

The Tritons women’s hockey team begins regional play at CFB Edmonton on Jan. 28. 

Chief Petty Officer Second Class (CPO2) Dave Hillier, Tritons women’s coach, says his team can repeat as Canada West champions.

“Our team aims for continued success in regional play and earning a trip to the CAF Nationals to represent the Canada West region,” said CPO2 Hillier. He says a player shortage will likely see one of the team’s skaters converted to a goaltender.
The women have also been holding regular practices at Wurtele Arena and playing exhibition games to prepare. Last year, the Tritons dominated at Canada West playdowns, going undefeated and outscoring the opposition by a combined 42-4 scoreline over four games. The Tritons were eliminated in the semi-final round at Nationals by 8 Wing Trenton.

Our men’s and women’s volleyball teams will also hit the court next month when they compete in their Canada West tournament, Feb. 11 to 16 in Winnipeg. 

For more information about Canada West Regional competitions and Nationals schedules, follow the CAF Sports Facebook Page.

Filed Under: News ReleaseTop Stories


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.