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Cowichan kid has the look of a Vancouver Canuck

Ashton Rota, left, has been compared to Kevin Bieksa for as long as Bieksa has been a Vancouver Canuck. - Jeff Vinnick
Ashton Rota, left, has been compared to Kevin Bieksa for as long as Bieksa has been a Vancouver Canuck.
— image credit: Jeff Vinnick

They’ve been calling eight-year-old Ashton Rota ‘Kevin’ since he was a tot.

And Ashton’s uncanny resemblance to the Canucks star, Kevin Bieksa, recently had the hockey player freaked out when he saw a photo of the Maple Bay lad.

And Ashton’s father Fabio Rota said the defenceman’s reaction upon meeting Ashton Nov. 18 was something along the lines of, “He looks more like my son than my son does.”

Ashton acted as Bieksa’s look-alike as part of a BC Children’s Hospital Jeans Day Canucks Look-Alike contest.

He also got to meet Canucks twins, Henrik and Daniel Sedin as well as centre Ryan Kesler.

“I think my favourite part was meeting the players,” the Maple Bay Grade 3 student said, noting Bieksa’s always been a favourite of his.

“It was awesome. And he was friendly.”

Organizers put a call out to Canucks fans this fall asking if they had a child who looked like one of the team’s players.

The Rotas heard of the contest through a friend who has connections with Children’s Hospital. Organizers asked for submissions online of miniature versions of the Sedins, Bieksa and Kesler.

Ashton was contacted by organizers Nov. 14 as the selection for Bieksa’s mini-me. He and his mom, Adrien, dad and sister Madeline made the trip to the mainland on Nov. 17.

The winners got to participate in a photo shoot with their look-alike on Nov. 18 and will be featured in promotional collateral for 2014 Jeans Day.

The Maple Bay clan also got a tour of GM Place including the Canucks’ change room.

They also got the opportunity to snap some photos while Ashton and the boys worked their magic for the promotional pictures.

“He was extremely personable. He was making jokes,” Fabio said of Bieksa. “He said at one point, ‘This kid’s going to hit me,’ when photographers told Ashton to have a serious face in the photo.

“And Ashton did really great. He handled it well,” Fabio said noting the young Cowichan Valley Novice 4 hockey player had never done anything like it.

Fabio said Jeans Day organizers told Madeline and Ashton they can act as program ‘Champions’ and collect money on behalf of their school.

Jeans Day is celebrated on the last Thursday in April. Individuals across the province can participate by purchasing a $5 button or $20 lapel pins and wearing it with their jeans to school or work.

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