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A summer on ice: Young Squamish goalie heads to prestigious tournament

10-year-old goalie selected for Team BC at Brick Invitational.

While many 10-year-olds are likely thinking about jumping in the pool as the end of the school year draws near, Squamish's Zac Clunk is focused on stepping on the ice in July.

Clunk has been selected as one of two goalies to play for Team BC, Junior Canucks at the prestigious Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament at West Edmonton Mall from July 1 to 7.

The week-long Brick Tournament features six round-robin games in two divisions, with the divisions' top two teams advancing to the semi-final and final rounds. 

Those chosen are some of the best U10 players in North America.

Since the event began in 1990, many former players who attended the tourney have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including North Vancouver's Connor Bedard.

Steven Stamkos, P.K. Subban, and Auston Matthews also once attended the Brick Invitational, according to the event's website.

While it is serious hockey, there is also a lot of fun off the ice at the event.

Players get passes for the massive mall's waterpark and amusement park.

Clunk said he has never been to the mall, so is looking forward to that as well.

On May 30 at Rogers Arena, Macklin Celebrini, who is expected to be a top NHL draft pick this year, presented the team with their alumni jersey.

Macklin is also a BC Jr Canuck alumnus.

Clunk said it was "a really cool experience" to meet him.

"It was really fun,” he said, in a phone interview with The Squamish Chief.

How it started

Clunk said he became interested in hockey by seeing his older brother play.

"I used to play games with mini-sticks with some other kids," he recalled.

According to his mom, Kim, with her sons seven years apart, Clunk was at the rink from the time he was an infant, as she attended his brother's games and practices.

She would stand behind the goalie to watch and joked that is the reason Clunk went on to play the position.

Clunk played with Squamish Minor Hockey (SMHA) from the age of four until he was nine years old. He moved teams to play for the Vancouver Flyers last season in September 2023 and has been playing in the city this past season.

He likes playing goalie, especially, because of the support he gets from teammates.

"If I make a save, they come and tap me," he said.

For other kids who might be interested in playing hockey, Clunk’s advice is to give it a try, perhaps by first going to public skates at Brennan Park Arena.

Follow the tournament on its website or follow Team BC on its Instagram page.