Both Ponoka’s Atom teams were busy last weekend at their home tournament with six other teams vying for bragging rights.
The Atom A McDonalds had it tough losing all three of its games. Despite that challenge, coach Mark Richter feels it gave the players an opportunity to get into some serious hockey.
His hope is to see that players have fun while being able to manage strong competition. “And that everybody will elevate their game.”
“We play three games in one day so we’re hoping our guys can build off of the game and build their skill level,” said Richter.
He suggested by the third game it would be a tough challenge for players.
“It’s a high calibre tournament for us…I’m not concerned if we lose, it’s more important that we are improving and getting better as we go along,” said Richter.
For the Calnash Trucking team the first game was a strong 7-3 win, which set the tone for the rest of the team’s tournament. The team ended up in the B finals eventually earning a silver medal out of the weekend.
This wins are something Coach Gary MacLaren feels is important to have. “It’s the first time we gelled together as a team.”
“We use that as a motivation for them,” he added.
With the young athletes seeing the fruits of their labour such as passing, moving the puck and taking shots, there was more buy-in to follow through.
With more motivated players MacLaren feels coaching key techniques is easier.
His hope with the tournament is seeing the team play at its best regardless of the outcome.
“This team has improved so much since we started a month ago. It’s like a totally different hockey team now,” said MacLaren.
“We’re getting to be a more competitive team every week,” he added.
Wendy Jacklin, tournament co-ordinator, said the goal with the tournament is to raise money for both teams. This enables players to attend other tournaments or take part in other activities.
Having the fundraiser, with raffle items and a 50/50 draw, helps reduce the cost laid on parents when it comes to hockey. There were several prizes available and Jacklin credits businesses and community groups for the great items up for grabs.
“We certainly appreciate all the sponsorship and donations that they give,” said Jacklin.
She added the special theme for the tournament was Movember Madness to help raise awareness of the Movember Foundation, which supports men’s health.