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Harris progressing steadily through hockey hoops

, Brett Harris from 108 Mile was assured a spot on the Prince George's Cariboo Cougars 2011/12 team
Brett Harris

Things are moving in a positive direction for 16-year-old hockey player, Brett Harris from 108 Mile who recently received two pieces of good news.

After attending Prince George's Cariboo Cougars Major Midget Hockey League first-round tryout camp in early August, Harris says he was assured a spot on the 2011/12 team as a returning player.

Some 90 hopefuls attended the Cougars camp and 46 have been asked to return to the Sept. 2 training camp in Prince George. The final roster will be solidified by Sept. 15.

Harris says there was a lot of young talent on the ice, but he felt pretty comfortable about how he played.

On Aug. 4, Harris also learned he had made the short list of 22 players from British Columbia who are vying for one of 11 positions on Team Pacific. That team will play at the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge from Dec. 29, 2011 to Jan. 2, 2012 in Windsor, Ont.

He was chosen from among 41 top level midget division players from all over B.C. who were selected to attend the 2011 Male Under 17 Provincial Camp, held in Salmon Arm, July 24-27.

Final selections for Team Pacific will be based on player performance with their club teams until mid-November. The top 11 players will join the top 11 from Alberta to form Team Pacific that will be one of five Canadian teams, which along with five international teams, will compete in the 27-game world tournament.

According to Hockey Canada, the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge is one of their most important events and will bring together the top (midget) players in the world born in 1995 or later.

"Now, I'll be watched through the season and I'll have to play my best and play how I always play," says Harris.

"I'll work on everything but I always want to improve on everything anyhow. I'll work especially on my scoring touch and offensive game a little more and from there, see what happens."

He adds getting to this point in his young career has been a lot of hard work, but it's all starting to pay off.

"This is the only shot you get at team Pacific. Making it would be huge and it would set me up for so much more in the future."

Harris is also feeling out the field in Junior A level hockey, and trying for a position with the Merritt Centennials. He says he's been guaranteed a place on the Merritt bench when the Centennials take on the Prince George Spruce Kings in an exhibition match on Sept. 2 in 100 Mile House. Game time is 7 p.m. at the South Cariboo Rec. Centre.