Ladner’s Oliver Melnychuk helped Team BC reach the podium at the 2023 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC) in Winnipeg.
BC capped an impressive run with 6-2 victory over Saskatchewan in the bronze medal game, finishing the tournament with a 5-1 overall record.
Melnychuk, 16, earned his spot on the BC roster following a three-day tryout camp in Kamloops that attracted more than 70 hopefuls. The Grade 11 Delta Secondary student of Musqueam descent played last season for the Aldergrove Kodiaks of the Pacific Junior Hockey League.
BC’s bronze medal run included preliminary round wins over Saskatchewan (6-3), Nunavut (7-3) and Alberta (4-3). The playoffs began with a 6-0 quarter-final triumph against Eastern Door & the North before falling 4-2 to eventual silver medalist Ontario. Manitoba defeated Ontario 5-2 in the final.
“Their dedication, skill, and unwavering determination were on full display throughout the tournament. Congratulations to Team BC on their bronze medal win and to our female team for their solid fourth-place finish. They have truly represented British Columbia with honour and distinction,” said Lara Mussell Savage, Director of Sport for Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (I·SPARC).
The Team BC NAHC is a program of the I·SPARC and sanctioned by BC Hockey. The program provides an opportunity for the province’s top U18 male and female Indigenous hockey players to compete at the National Championships.