Vail Sportsmanship Tournament this weekend |

Vail Sportsmanship Tournament this weekend

Ian Smith
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL ” Hockey season is officially under way in Eagle County.

This weekend the Vail Eagle Hockey Association (VEHA) will host the 29th annual Vail Sportsmanship Tournament. Games will be played in Vail and in Eagle, with teams coming from all over the country to compete. The tournament serves as a tune-up for the high school season.

“The guys are excited,” said Battle Mountain hockey coach Gary Defina, who’s helps coach the club teams. “They have had a couple games, but nothing as a full team. The kids are excited to get the games in for sure.”

Two Vail teams will play in the midget divisions, and one in the bantam division. The squads are divided mainly by age.

Plenty of talent returns for the VEHA this year. The goaltending is strong at all levels, Defina said. VEHA goes as many as four-deep for goaltenders. The defense is also loaded.

“We have really good goaltending,” Defina said. “We also have a lot of good defensemen. We are young, but deep. We have some quality forwards coming back from last year.”

The VEHA Midget Minor’s start play at 11:15 a.m. tomorrow. It also plays games at 6:55 p.m. on Friday, and at 9:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday. VEHA Midget Major’s are in action at 3:05 and 10:30 p.m. on Friday, and 11:20 a.m. and 10:15 p.m. on Saturday. Both squads could play more games on Sunday if they qualify for the championship round.

The VEHA Bantam’s play at 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Friday, and 9:45 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. on Saturday.

Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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