The careers of two young hockey players are steaming ahead, as the boys have skated their way into the Alberta Winter Games, Feb 6 to 8, 2014.
Last spring both Jared Rice and Noah Hackett, now both 12, were chosen as a select few to join an Alberta team on a whirlwind hockey tour through Europe and now the boys, who play on the same Ponoka Peewee A team, will take on the Winter Games with each other.
This is the first year the boys have attended the Winter Games and the first year tryouts for the event has been held in this format for hockey.
The boys had to take part in four tryout sessions to see if they were a fit match and Jared’s father, Cam Rice says 120 boys from central Alberta alone tried out.
For Hackett, captain of his Peewee team, the tryouts were demanding but still fun. “You really have to push yourself if the drills are hard and if you’re tired you have to keep going if you want to make the team.”
Although he was nervous about his performance in relation to making the team he believed his second, third and fourth went well. “All the kids are high level. There isn’t one kid who isn’t as good as the others.”
“I’m confident, I’m excited,” he added.
Rice agreed the tryouts were a test for both boys and was a little more nervous to see if he’d made the team. “The kids, they were pretty good. It was pretty tough competition.”
When he did find out he was getting the opportunity to play in the Winter Games Rice was excited and relieved. “It was important for me to make the team, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
This year’s games take place in Banff and Canmore.