A young hockey defenseman from Merritt won gold at a U.S. invitational tournament. 

Aiden VanRensburg recently crossed the border along with his U13 Kamloops Blazers team to participate in the Phoenix Presidents Day 2023 Tournament. From February 17-20, the Blazers competed against seven teams from both Canada and the U.S. to win gold at the tournament. 

“Being able to play in Arizona, USA, was fantastic! It was an amazing opportunity and an honour to represent the Kamloops Blazers (and Canada),” said Van Rensburg.  

“I have my coaches and team manager, and the rest of my team to thank, as well as all the parents who helped fundraise.”

Van Rensburg notched four assists throughout the tournament and scored a goal against the AHU White Knights for their first win. The Blazers proceeded to beat Seattle Jr. Admirals, Team Wyoming, and Foothills Flyers Blue to reach the championship game. It was there where they defeated Hockey Club Fairbanks 11-5 to secure the title. 

The Blazers look to ride this momentum as they prepare for playoffs beginning this March.