Long time Aces player bids farewell to team

WILNO – It is a bittersweet time for Upper Ottawa Valley Major Midget AA Aces defenceman and captain Kevin Burchat.

His team is on its way to reclaim the Ontario East Minor Hockey League championship after winning the title last year.

But once that is over, Burchat, who has been with the organization since its early beginnings, will be graduating from the team and moving on to other endeavours.

Burchat, 18, is the son of Dominic and Julie of Wilno. He was raised on the ice with the help of his dad, who taught him how to skate on the outdoor rink in his hometown. Burchat is the youngest of the family and he has two older sisters, Stephanie and Rachel.

He grew up idolizing Martin St. Louis, a professional ice hockey right wing and alternate captain for the New York Rangers, and Dion Phaneuf, the defenceman and captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

As he grew more confident on the ice, he began playing organized hockey with the Timbits team at the Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre in Barry’s Bay.

He built friendships and continued playing. Around 2007, he was asked to join a new team, called the Upper Ottawa Valley Aces.

Upper Ottawa Valley Aces Minor Hockey oversees the competitive AA hockey program within District 5 of the Ottawa District Minor Hockey Association. It began in 2006 with the establishment of a minor bantam AA team for 1994 birth year players. The one-year pilot program gained approval from the Ontario East Minor Hockey League and then the Ottawa District Minor Hockey Association.

Get your March 18, 2015 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.