Back: Ellena Gjesdal, Larissa Gedlaman, Neil Lawrence, Jared Gjesdal, Geoff Unger, Samuel Lawrence, Tyler Gedlaman, Bruce Creelman, Toby Leighton, Donna Gedlaman.
Front: Colin Dube, Logan Wilson Caleb Johnson, Tyrell Murphy, Darian Harper, Goalie: Connor Creelman. Missing : Justin Blondeau.

As Manager and Tournament Coordinator for the Bantam Hawks tournament this past weekend I want to thank each and every Gold River citizen on their welcoming of our players, parents and coaches. We have had a few emails back already about the warm and friendly people that make up our lovely town. Everyone said it was like arriving to a huge hug! Restaurants, business and accommodations were top notch. Quite a few people have never been to Gold River and are coming back for more adventures. Our tournament was a great success as well,  with all players having fun on and off the ice. I have included a response from a few coaches below.

Well done Everyone and thank you for making this weekend so successful.

I want to also thank our Coaches,  Neil Lawrence, Geoff Unger for their terrific job and to Bruce Creelman who chose not to do the bench this weekend as coach,  and dedicate his time solely as a Referee. Your dedication to our youth is priceless. Thanks to Super Valu for the free breakfast for our players on Sunday. To my two sidekicks who stayed with me all weekend,  Donna Gedlaman and Karen Creelman, I could not have made it without you!

Ellena Gjesdal

Bantam Manager

Following is some of the great feedback from other teams involved in the tournament that Ellena has received so far:


Hello Ellena,

Thanks for organizing this wonderful tourney. Our parents, coaches and kids had a really good time in Gold River. Some of our parents said they will be back for a weekend in the summer to go an explore the area.

I would like to point a few things out we coaches were really impressed with:

Your Hawks players are a bunch of really nice kids. When one of our players got injured, the player coming out of the penalty box came straight to our bench and asked how the player is doing. You don’t see that in this sport often.

After our last game some of your Hawks players (one was the goalie) came to us and thanked us for coming to Gold River. Wow, those kids really seem to appreciate the fact teams coming to Gold River. I wished our players would do the same since Powell River is in a way as unique as Gold River.

We were also impressed with the players from Port McNeil. After the game our players came to us and said how nice those kids were. They even chatted during the games … who would have thought that, eh?

I personally was impressed by how the whole town seemed to pull on one string to make this tourney a success.

The only thing that would have made the tourney even better was a win for our team 😉

Again, thank you very much for hosting this tourney. I know how much time you spent to make it happen.

PRMHA Bantam Taws Assistant Coach


Thanks Ellena

An excellent tournament! Thanks to you and all of the volunteers that put the tournament together, very well organized.

See you in Port Alberni!

CR Wolverines


Hi Ellena,

We all had a fantastic time in Gold River!! Everyone was so welcoming and friendly, you being at the top of that list. Thank you for your hospitality. I have forwarded your lovely note to the team. I must say I was very surprised to hear that Campbell River won the Gold. We thought the Port McNeill team would win for sure. Just shows you never know!!

Yes we look forward to seeing you in Alberni. I see that we play Gold River in Alberni’s awesome Weyerhauser rink, so that will be fun.

Thank you again
Oceanside Coyotes


Hi Ellena,

We would like to thank you and your team/parents for hosting a great tournament! I know how much work and volunteer hours go into this type of event, and you guys did a great job! Thanks again!

Hugh Gurney
CR Bears


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