By Justin Seward
Redcliff Minor Hockey Association’s president Scott Pahl has seen the number of players grow again this season to 110 players from 73 two seasons ago and the importance of player development has been beneficial for the all the association’s teams.
Pahl’s motto has been ‘if you can’t skate, hockey’s always going to be hard,’ and teams have been fortunate to have Gay Dubeau, a Skate Canada triple gold medalist, come out to each teams’ practice once a month to develop their skating skills.
“Getting Gay out really helps these kids with the basic skill of playing good hockey,” said Pahl.
“And whether they take it just to the beer league or they do have a higher-end hockey career, you know if you can’t skate, hockey is going to harder for you. This way they’ve got the grass roots of the fundamentals of skating. How far they take it, is really up to them.”
He added the goaltending clinic has seen encouraging results in building players into goalies because they have five players in the novice and four at the atom level who switch between goal and playing out.
According to Pahl, minor hockey is on the right track this season in terms of how the association is being ran but at this juncture of the season there are problems that occur.
“Since I’ve been involved in Redcliff Minor Hockey, people don’t realize by having two extra teams, two in novice and two in atom, it really plays havoc on your ice schedule,” said Pahl.
“ It’s almost to the point now where we’re probably as big as we can get with one ice surface without changing a whole bunch of things.”
He credits his board members for doing a job well done of keeping Redcliff Minor Hockey ran efficiently year after year.
If minor hockey sees progression with the tools provided to the players, that’s a successful season in their books.