Coach, players off to GMHL all-star game

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Last week’s ‘press conference’ held by the Slave Lake Icedogs was attended by the Slave Lake press corps (I.e. The Leader). The purpose of it was to formally announce the participation of four members of the team in the Greater Metro Hockey League all-star game, being held this week in Ontario.

The four are forwards Ilias Okemow and Austin Mood-Flagg and defencemen Danil Babchuk and Garrett Sinclair. They’ll be joined by head coach Brian Noad, an Ontarian himself and former player with a Junior team in Markham, just north of Toronto. The all-star game is being played in South River Ontario, home of the Almaguin Spartans of the GMHL’s North Division.

The announcement last Friday took place in the middle of a one-day hockey camp for kids the Icedogs were hosting. It had 18 participants – plus Icedog players and coaches giving instruction on the ice.

In other Icedogs’ news, team owner/manager Lauren Barr says she plans to take some of the players to the Global Hockey Camp in Las Vegas in June. It’s a showcase for players who are interested in attracting the attention of U.S. college hockey programs. At least a couple of the Icedogs are interested – Mood-Flagg and Sinclair among them. Others – Babchuk and Okemow – are interested in playing higher levels of hockey, but not necessarily university.

Barr explains there are two separate all-star games happening in South River this week. One is called ‘College’ and the other ‘Pro,’ and the players are assigned to one or the other depending on their preference. Babchuk and Okemow will play in the ‘Pro’ game and the other two in the ‘College’ game.

Barr says three new players have been acquired recently, with a fourth one possible but uncertain as of press time. The three confirmed players are Carter Brown, a defenceman from Ontario, Jayden Anderson of Loon River and Hakim Ratt, also coming from the GMHL.

Members of the Slave Lake Icedogs became hockey camp instructors for a day on Jan. 3, at the team’s mini-camp for kids.

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