The first hockey tournament of the season was Dec. 14 to 16 and players had a chance to test their skills with teams from around central Alberta.
The Ponoka McDonalds peewee B hockey team played seven other teams and manager Julie Feragen feels the weekend went well. “It was awesome.”
She enjoyed seeing the team compete against others who are not in their hockey league and it helped players see how they stand against their opponents. Parents from other teams also enjoyed the hospitality of Ponoka Minor Hockey.
“We had so many compliments,” she stated.
Prizes were different this year as well, each team received a Sony IPod docking station to play music during warm up and the winning team of each final game received a cash payout. Feragen does not know the breakdown but the total payout was $700.
She found the players enjoyed the weekend.
“They really enjoyed themselves and were as much involved as the parents were involved,” she explained. “It’s something that they can enjoy as a team.”
Despite losing 3-0 in the D final, the tournament brought parents and players together and she feels it is another way to create team unity. With some kids hurt and some with the flu, it was a challenge to perform to their normal level. However the players competed with determination and discipline. “I think it has a lot do to with the coaching. You have to be a team to play a game and you have to play as hard as you can.”
Coaches decided not to have a head coach but rather to work in concert to guide players.
She feels hosting a tournament gives players a chance to learn the value of being a good host and to raise money to compete in other tournaments, which can cost anywhere from $850 to $1,200. “It can get pricey.”
Feragen is proud all the teams’ efforts in raising funds and food for the Ponoka Food Bank. Each team filled a large red sack for the food bank and one team donated $100 as well. Fundraisers for the food bank gives kids a better awareness of what some people may take for granted, she said. “They need to be a part of it.”
These are the final results from the tournament:
• D Final: Ponoka McDonalds peewee B lost 3-0 to Picture Butte.
• C Final: Calgary Shaw Meadows won 15-1 against Rocky Ice.
• B Final: Wainwright won 5-0 over RMAA (Carstairs, Didsbury, Crossfield).
• A Final: Calgary Glen Lake won 9-0 against the Bashaw Stars.