Some changes coming in minor hockey for 2019/20

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

A good turnout at an annual general meeting is always a hopeful sign. So from that point of view, things are looking good for the Slave Lake Minor Hockey Association for the coming year.

According to reports, there was actually a competition for the open executive positions.

Chris Taylor continues as president for another year. Mike Gelech is vice president, with Rachael Bellerose as treasurer and Jennifer Taylor as secretary. Other members on the executive team are Bobbi Hartman, Tyler Warman, Melissa Baxter, Mike Martin, Tara Maitland, Jeff Green, Jamie Green, Krista Dickson and Marsha Laing.

One thing that’ll be new in 2019/20 is in the Novice Division. Those youngsters will be playing on half-sized rinks, with no positions and no scores kept. This is coming down from Hockey Canada, says Warman.

“There was a big discussion about it,” he says. “Not everybody loves it.”

It’ll be four-on-four hockey, with no icing and only two face-offs per game. The idea is to give kids more time to develop skating, stickhandling and shooting skills.

There’s some expense involved. Taylor says two sets of dividing boards need to be purchased, at a cost of about $8,000.

“We are always on the hunt for cash to buy stuff,” he says.

There doesn’t seem to be any talk about getting rid of the ‘Midget’ name, as apparently British Columbia has done. That conversation was in the news several months ago, but “we haven’t heard about it and we didn’t talk about it,” Warman says.

Registration for the upcoming season “will open in the next few weeks,” says a post on slmha.ca. Taylor says it is open, and Aug. 31 is the deadline for paying.

“Nobody gets on the ice until they’ve paid,” he says, adding that installment plans are available.

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