England U13s compete in world’s largest tournament
Rhodes Mitchell-King, who plays for Coventry Blaze Ice Hockey Academy, has just returned from playing for the England Under 13 team in Canada.
The Pee Wee Tournament in Quebec, now in its 57th year, is the largest in the world at this age group. Team England played 11 games over the 13 days they were in Quebec, ending with seven wins, two draws and only two defeats.
In their two tournament games, in the Int. C competition, they won the first one match 7-2 and then narrowly lost the second game 6-5 to a goal in the last 9 seconds! The team who beat them (Plessiville val Boutin) went on to win the Int. C final. The only other team who defeated England in an exhibition game, went on to win their Int. B final.
Both of England’s tournament games took place in the amazing brand new 18,500 seater Videotron Centre, with all the razzmatazz of the North American sports experience.
There were 120 teams competing in the tournament at the various levels, with a total of over 2,400 players and 500 team officials and coaches representing 16 countries.
As well as their two tournament games England also played eight exhibition games and an outdoor game, some of which were against higher graded teams (Int. B and AA).
The players lodged with local French/Canadian families which gave them the opportunity to practice their French speaking skills. As well as taking part in normal family activities they played pond hockey, went shopping (ice hockey kit is so much cheaper in Canada!), visited the ValCartier SnowPark and toured old Quebec City.
They also learnt that even though there is plenty of snow in Quebec at this time of the year the dryness of the atmosphere doesn’t allow for very good snowballs or snowmen!
Rhodes thoroughly enjoyed his international experience and hopefully with a lot more hard work he will wear England’s Three Lions again.
Meanwhile his focus is on Midlands Conference, also part of the EIHA elite pathway, where Rhodes has been selected to play U13s tournaments in France and at the UK Inter Conference tournament in Sheffield in May.