Castor spring hockey program a success

Extended hockey in Castor met with positive response

A program running at the Castor Beaverdome which began at the end of March has now wrapped for the season.

The Spring Hockey program running in Castor closed on May 12 with an awards program.

In total, 45 girls from all over, including some from Saskatchewan, were making weekly trips to Castor to take part in the program.

The 45 youth were split between U13 and U15 teams.

On the U13 team, 24 girls were enrolled in the hockey development program and 17 were selected to play on the East Central Eagles tournament team.

For the U15 team, 21 girls took part in the full development program while 17 were selected to play on the tournament team.

Shiana Younger, one of the organizers of the spring hockey program, did note that even though the teams were set, development players were called up to the team if players were unavailable for tournaments or games.

Younger says that the response to the program in Castor has been positive.

"It's been a pretty awesome response," said Younger.

"All had a great time and made friends for life."

Younger added that some of the players' parents even wrote letters to the town council thanking them for keeping the arena open the extra few weeks.

While the spring program focused on development, the two teams formed did play several games as well.

The U13 team played three exhibition games, winning two and losing one, before taking part in the Alberta Champions Cup tournament. In tournament action the team won one, tied two and lost three, making it into the bronze medal game.

The team also played a three-game showcase in Castor, where they swept all three teams played.

Meanwhile, the U15 team played a pair of exhibition games, tying one and losing one. The team also took part in the Champions Cup, where they won five, lost one, and brought the gold medal home to Castor.

In the May 5 showcase, the team played a double-header where they lost one and won one.

Younger emphasized that the hockey played in the spring league is not the same calibre of hockey played in the community during the regular season.

"It's a bit higher calibre," said Younger.

At the season wrap-up, the youth had the opportunity to take part in a skills competition and an inter-squad game.

Following the on-ice activities, there was a barbecue and awards presentations made, with players on both teams being awarded Most Valuable Player, Best Offensive and Defensive Players, Most Improved, Most Heart, and other awards.

During the roughly six weeks the program ran, the players were on the ice every weekend, with an optional skate on Thursdays.

Looking to the future, Younger says she absolutely wants to bring the program back and expand it, in subsequent years.

She is optimistic that if the demand is there, other teams can be pulled for age groups from U7 to U18 for boys, girls, and mixed programs.

"They just need someone to take the lead," said Younger.

Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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