This year, Millbrook Minor Hockey took control of the local Hockey Day in Canada celebrations by doing what they do best- providing an opportunity for young players to build their skills and have some fun playing a sport they love. The club focused their efforts on the youngest players ages five to seven, and hosted a Jamboree where teams compete but no scores are kept. Players switch at timed intervals, and games take place on partial ice surfaces. The format follows new Minor Hockey rules, applying age-appropriate game play opportunities to encourage fun and skill development for all participants at this age.
As anyone who tried to find a parking spot in town that day can attest, the event was very well attended. More than 24 teams participated in three 30 minute games all held at the local arena. The original plan to host one of three games for each team at the outdoor rink at the Old Millbrook School was dashed when the rink liner was torn during a thaw earlier in the week. This jammed up events in town, but the youngsters didn’t seem to mind. Parents lugging hockey equipment for a few blocks might have felt differently, but it was all for a good cause.
The event included 12 teams each from the Initiation Program and the Tyke levels. Game play for these levels of teams requires less ice surface, allowing multiple games to take place at the same time. The younger teams played horizontally across the ice while the older groups use half the ice. Equipment to divide up the ice was generously provided by the Kawartha Coyotes club of Omemee.
In addition to celebrating the sport, the tournament was also a fundraiser, with profits to be directed to the new Cavan Monaghan Community Centre. Sounds like an event where everyone wins! KG