The third time was the charm for Duncan-raised hockey player Keenan Eddy.
In his third trip with Team BC to the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, Eddy finally collected a gold medal. Eddy helped Team BC to a second-place finish in 2014 and third in 2015, so he was thrilled to get the top prize in his final year of eligibility.
“I was close the other years, so it was great to achieve it in my last year,” Eddy said. “That was my goal going there, so it was a great feeling.”
The leading scorer for the junior B Kerry Park Islanders last season, Eddy was pleased with his own performance as Team BC went undefeated at the event in Mississauga, Ont.
“I thought I had a good tournament. I didn’t put up the offensive numbers that I did the year before when I led the tournament in scoring, but I thought I played a well-rounded game.”
Eddy’s biggest moment in the tournament came when he scored the overtime winner in the semifinal against Manitoba, about a minute and a half into the extra frame.
“The whole team was pretty excited when I scored that,” he recalled.
The calibre of hockey at the tournament was close to what Eddy is used to playing with the Islanders.
“I would say it’s pretty similar to what you find in junior B,” he said. “There are some players who aren’t at junior B yet, and some who are already at junior A, so when you get that mix, it’s pretty close to junior B.”
Eddy’s play at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships earned him an invitation back to the APTN show Hit the Ice, which brings together 25 young aboriginal players to give them a taste of what it takes to play at a higher level. Eddy appeared on the show last season as well, and his older brother Lynden, who also played for Kerry Park last season, was part of the second season, filmed in 2013 and aired in 2014.
Keenan will head to Winnipeg in July for filming. If things go as well as they did last year, it could go a long way toward helping him achieve his aim of playing junior A hockey next year, with the long-term goal of earning a U.S. college scholarship.
“Last year I got a few junior A invites,” he said. “But because of Hockey Canada rules, I couldn’t leave the province to play until I was 18.”
Eddy, who graduates from Cowichan Secondary School this spring, had 36 points in 40 games with the Islanders in the 2015-16 season, and also got into eight regular season games and one playoff game with the Cowichan Valley Capitals in the B.C. Hockey League.
“I’m hoping to play [with the Caps],” he said. They’ve told me I have a pretty good chance of making the team.”