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The Kelowna U11 Rockets won one of Canada's biggest girls hockey tournaments – the sport

The Kelowna U11 Rockets won one of Canada's biggest girls hockey tournaments – the sport

Big win for girls hockey

Kelowna's U11 girls' hockey team captured gold at the 12th annual Tire Wickenheiser World Women's Hockey Festival (WickFest) over the weekend in Surrey.

WickFest is Canada's largest girls' hockey tournament.

The Rockets faced 16 teams for the division title, winning the final 7-0.

“It's very rare for Kelowna to win it. They never lost a game in the group stage, and then they beat Vancouver in the final,” said team manager Danny Peyton.

Peyton says the girls team is affiliated with the Kelowna Junior Hockey Association — a boys' league.

The girls' team plays against the boys' teams throughout the season.

“This was our big tournament where we actually got to play the girls. It was probably one of the most amazing experiences they'll have in hockey just because a lot of these girls have been playing together since they were 6 years old,” Peyton said.

The head coach is Jason DeLeorme, former captain of the Kelowna Rockets in 1997.

Peyton says girls hockey is becoming more popular by the minute.

The Professional Women's Hockey League (PWHL) began its inaugural season in January.

“Girls hockey is thriving,” Peyton added.

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