Ponoka hockey player heading to nationals

A once in a lifetime opportunity is coming up quickly for hockey player Nolan Huysmans of Ponoka. On April 20 to 26 Huysmans and his team the Notre Dame Hounds, will be competing at the Telus Cup Championship in Selkirk, Manitoba.

The Hounds, from Notre Dame College in Wilcox, Saskatchewan successfully conquered league and regionals in order to advance to the nationals.

The 17 year old has been on the hockey team since the start of the year and believes that the Hounds have a realistic shot at winning the Cup.

“We have a really good group of guys on the team,” said Huymsans. “We have four solid lines, I think we have a pretty good chance of winning.”

If the Notre Dame does win the Championship, it will be the first time in 23 years that the Hounds captured the Cup. The last time the Hounds won was in 1986 and the last time the team played in the nationals was in 1990.

To get to the Midget AAA championship, the team defeated Winnipeg 8-2 and Huysmans says the game, although a rough go at first, ended up being a well deserved win for the team.

“The first period was pretty intense,” said Huysmans. “But we played well and ended up winning the game by a few goals.”

Huysmans is happy to be going to nationals and believes that it will be a great experience for him and his team.

“I’m excited about it,” he said. “This is something we’ll never experience again, we’ll play the best we can so we don’t have any regrets.”

Huymans returns to school four days early from Easter break to prepare for the championship with his team.

The right wing forward has been playing hockey ever since he can remember. He played for the Mites and first year Bantam in Ponoka and enjoys being on the ice.

“I like everything about hockey,” he said. “I like the friendships, competition, everything.”

Huysmans says that if the team makes it to the final, he thinks that the whole school may get bused down to Manitoba to help cheer them on.

The game results and other information on the Notre Dame Hounds can be found by visiting www.notredame.sk.ca.