Summer vacation officially ended over the weekend for local hockey stars Riley Heidt and Tanner Molendyk.
They are now in the thick of things representing Canada at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup under-18 tournament in Red Deer, Alta.
Heidt, a 17-year-old centre from Saskatoon, who plays in the WHL for the Prince George Cougars, collected a goal and an assist in Canada’s tournament-opener Sunday, a 14-0 win over Switzerland. The 17-year-old Molendyk, a native of McBride, picked up one assist wearing the maple leaf as a defenceman. Molendyk also play in the WHL with the Saskatoon Blades.
Canada will be back on the ice tonight (6 p.m.) to face the Slovakians in their first game of the tournament.
Canada is also matched with Sweden in a preliminary-round game Wednesday (6 p.m. PT)
The semifinals are scheduled for Friday at 4 and 7:30 p.m. PT. The bronze-medal games starts Saturday at 11 a.m. (PT, followed by the gold-medal game at 3 p.m. (PT). All of Canada's games will be televised on TSN.
In other local hockey news, the Prince George Spruce Kings announced they have signed 2004-born defenceman Aleksy Bandu for the upcoming season.
The Montreal native played last season for Governor’s Academy of the U.S. High School Prep League. He had three goals and three assists in 23 games.
“We believe Aleksy has the potential to grow into a steady two-way defenceman in the BCHL,” said Spruce Kings head coach Alex Evin, in a team release. “His mobility and transition play will certainly be an asset to our team structure.”
Bandu's brother Isack, a Northern Michigan University recruit, just completed a three-season stint in the BCHL with the Victoria Grizzlies.