100 Mile minor league hockey back to playing games

Tucker Gust makes a shot on net during practice at the South Cariboo Rec Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Tucker Gust makes a shot on net during practice at the South Cariboo Rec Centre. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Graydon Forster catches a puck during a 100 Mile Minor Hockey Association practice. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Graydon Forster catches a puck during a 100 Mile Minor Hockey Association practice. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Emma Theuring makes a shot during hockey practice. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Emma Theuring makes a shot during hockey practice. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Tucker Gust attempts to slip the puck past Graydon Forster’s defences while he lunges for the puck. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Tucker Gust attempts to slip the puck past Graydon Forster’s defences while he lunges for the puck. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Brody Pecor takes a shot at Graydon Forster during practice for 100 Mile Minor Hockey Association’s U15 rep team. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Brody Pecor takes a shot at Graydon Forster during practice for 100 Mile Minor Hockey Association’s U15 rep team. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Colby Heit skates with the puck during practice. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Colby Heit skates with the puck during practice. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Torin Todd (from left), Jackson Sutton, Lincoln Sutton and Noah Bissat wait to head back onto the ice after a brief break from practice. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Torin Todd (from left), Jackson Sutton, Lincoln Sutton and Noah Bissat wait to head back onto the ice after a brief break from practice. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Th 100 Mile House Soccer Association’s U15 Rep Team takes a knee. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Th 100 Mile House Soccer Association’s U15 Rep Team takes a knee. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Brody Pecor (from left) fights with Torin Todd for the puck during a scrimmage while their teammates Travis Real and Tucker Gust look to assist. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Brody Pecor (from left) fights with Torin Todd for the puck during a scrimmage while their teammates Travis Real and Tucker Gust look to assist. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

100 Mile Minor Hockey League players are lacing up their skates for a return to regular games and tournaments this season.

President Roxanne Sutton said the organization and its sponsors are excited to have a normal season this year. Unlike last year when the season was restricted to practices only, players will no longer have to wear masks on the ice or stay six feet apart. Up to 50 spectators can also watch from the stands this season although masks will be required.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is for kids to be involved in group sports. Being able to have a little bit of normalcy is amazing so I’m really looking forward to this season,” Sutton said. “We have 132 kids registered in minor hockey which is up quite a bit from last year.”

The season officially started Sept. 20, with an icebreaker tournament last Friday involving teams from Williams Lake, Quesnel, Prince George, Fort St. John and Dawson Creek. The North Central District Division begins in October, meaning the teams will also travel to different towns this year.

“The kids all like to practice but they all love to play. The fact we get to do that right now is very encouraging for them,” Sutton said.

Phillip Johnston, a volunteer coach for the league whose son Rowan Johnston is the U11 team’s goalie, is also excited to get the season started.

“I know last year COVID put a damper on a lot of things and the kids got discouraged but I see this year there’s a lot of kids wanting to play again,” Johnston said. “It makes me smile because the kids need the social activity and exercise. It’s a highlight for their week.”

Sutton said they still have six spaces available in their First Shift program for children aged six to 10. No experience or equipment is required for the program which begins on Nov. 15. Registration can be done at www.firstshift.ca and is a great introduction to the sport, she said.

The league will accept new player registration throughout the year. Those interested can call their office at 250-395-4344.



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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