Danville Express

Newsfront - December 14, 2007

Hockey team aims for Silver Stick

Danville Bear raising funds for trip to tournament in Canada

by Jordan M. Doronila

A Danville hockey player is helping his team raise money to compete on Canadian ice for the Silver Stick, a sign of international goodwill - and good hockey.

Drew Phillips, 10, of Danville, and his team, the Oakland Bears, are looking for sponsors who will help them get to Canada and vie for the highest prize in youth hockey.

"It's a pretty big deal in the hockey world," said Drew's mother, Jackie. "It encompasses (youth hockey) in Canada and the U.S."

The Bears won the Squirt A Regional Northern California Silver Stick Championship last month. They went undefeated in five tournaments and in their semifinal game against the Anaheim Wildcats in November. They now qualify to compete for the Canadian Silver Stick Tourney on Jan. 18.

They plan to fly out to Michigan and drive to Canada on Jan. 16.

The Bears said they are excited about the trip.

"I'm getting to go back to Canada, which is kind of nice," said John MacKay, a Berkeley resident, who is on the team. "I want to show that Canada isn't the only one that has the best hockey players."

But the team needs money to help fund its travels and hotel expenses. Jackie Phillips said it costs $700 to enter the tournament. The Bears have managed to tentatively receive $2,500 from three sponsors. The money will partially cover the team's flight expenses, and parents will cover the rest. Fourteen Bears are going to Canada.

However, the team still has to pay for lodging and renting a car. Phillips said the tournament lasts through the weekend of Jan. 20, and the Bears will stay in Canada for five nights. Renting a hotel room daily is $110, she noted.

The Bears are organizing a street hockey game against the Oakland Police Department to raise money. The team is also looking for potential sponsors for a "shoot-a-thon" and skating laps around the ice rink. Sponsors would pay for how many goals or laps a hockey player makes. Phillips said the team would have a spaghetti feed or barbeque for the sponsors.

The International Silver Stick Tournament was founded by Jack Kinsella - a former featherweight boxer - in Ottawa, Canada, according to the tournament's Web site. The theme of the program is to promote sportsmanship.

Drew Phillips is looking forward to building on his team's success.

"It's the first time I won something where I get to move onto the next thing," he said.

To help the Oakland Bears raise money, contact Jackie Phillips at Phillipsfam2@sbcglobal.net.

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