Edmonton’s WHL champs have earned a shot at a Memorial Cup national championship with the help of two Surrey-raised hockey players, one on the ice and another in their hearts.
The Oil Kings dug in to win the Western Hockey League title Monday night (June 13) with a 2-0 home-ice victory over Seattle Thunderbirds.
After the game, the team posed for photos with the Ed Chynoweth Cup and held high the #13 jersey once worn by Caleb Reimer, one of three Surrey-area teens killed in a car crash in Fraser Heights last summer.
The jersey was held by Oil Kings goaltender Kolby Hay, who knew Reimer since they were kids.
“Caleb was a guy who could make your day with a single smile,” Hay tweeted later. “He was a guy who always looked at the glass half-full. For all of those that his legacy touched, for all of those who had the privilege of knowing him, this was for you. #reimer4L”
Surrey's Caleb Reimer in Edmonton Oil Kings colours, after he was drafted by the WHL team in 2019. Now, they're headed to the Memorial Cup, but Reimer, who was killed last summer, is not forgotten by his former teammates.— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) June 15, 2022
STORY: https://t.co/6U7M8umt75 pic.twitter.com/VltqZZm1p7
The Oil Kings roster includes Justin Sourdif, the Surrey-raised Florida Panthers prospect and former Vancouver Giants captain. Sourdif was traded to Edmonton at the 2022 WHL trade deadline Jan. 17, and then scored 39 points in 28 regular-season games with Edmonton. In playoffs this spring, he’s added 14 points in 19 games, including a pair of game-winning goals against Winnipeg ICE in an earlier round.
Back in 2019, Reimer was the first Surrey-area player selected in WHL Bantam Draft. The right-shot centre was picked in the first round, 18th overall, by the Oil Kings, after playing at Delta Hockey Academy in North Delta.
In Surrey last summer, Caleb was killed, along with 17-year-old Parker Magnuson and 16-year-old Ronin Sharma, when the vehicle they were in hit a tree in the 16000-block of 104 Avenue in Fraser Heights just before 3 a.m. on Aug. 21, 2021.
The Oil Kings now compete in the 2022 Memorial Cup tournament presented by Kia, slated for Saint John, N.B., from June 20-29. Edmonton’s first game is scheduled for Tuesday, June 21, against the QMJHL champs, Shawinigan Cataractes.