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Last updateThu, 14 Oct 2021 10am

Minor hockey season cancelled, may be chance for development

Minor Hockey

Alberta Hockey has pulled the plug on the 2020-2021 minor hockey season in light of the continuing health restrictions due to COVID-19, however, with the easing of restrictions on Friday, February 6, players might still get a chance to work on skills.
On Tuesday, February 2, Hockey Alberta, in conjunction with its Leagues that oversee Tiered, AAA, and AA hockey, has concluded regular league play for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
“While youth leagues play is concluded for this season, Hockey Alberta continues to focus on working with our members to explore all options that could comprise a spring development season when Step 2 of the Government of Alberta’s “A Path Forward” comes into effect,” stated a press release. “Hockey Alberta will be working closely with those organizations that have access to facilities and/or have players interested in playing to ensure those who are interested in playing can have that opportunity when our sport is allowed back on the ice.”
There was a little bit of respite on Friday afternoon, February 6, when the Alberta Government eased some of its restrictions for training for youth sports. While there will be no games at this time, groups of up to 10, including instructors, can train.
Drumheller Minor Hockey president Lyle Caweizel is disappointed in the decision.
“The amount of time everyone has put into making sure the season could start and then continue with all the Covid guidelines in place has been remarkable. However, following the Hockey Alberta Town Hall meeting and a meeting of the DMHA Board the decision was made that effective Friday, February 5 the remainder of the Drumheller Minor Hockey program will be cancelled.
At the time, training was not permitted when they made this decision. Since then they are looking into what might be possible in terms of development .
“DMHA is reviewing our recent decision to cancel the season. Although the new guidelines may not be ideal, there may be an opportunity to resume hockey development,” he states.
They will also be consulting with the Town of Drumheller to determine how the new guidelines will be met in the arena. They have also surveyed tier membership on the best way forward.


Boyko listed as player to watch in NHL draft

Talyn Boyko

A Drumheller goalie‘s stock is rising even during a pandemic as Talyn Bokyo was listed as a player or watch on the NHL Central Scouting Report.
Talyn, the son of Kelly and Sharla, is in his third season with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL. So far this year the season has been sidelined, he is still being noticed on the list.
“You try not to look at that stuff too much, but obviously it’s always nice to be recognized, so it is pretty cool to see it,” said Boyko.
He is listed as a ‘C’ prospect which puts his potential selection as high as the fourth round. There are only about a half dozen goalies on the list rated as an ‘A’ or ‘B’ prospect. This is the first year he is eligible for the draft.
While it looks like there isn’t much more of a season to salvage this year, he made an impression with his previous work with the Americans posting a .884 save percentage and a 4.75 GGA. He was selected 53rd overall in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft.
While he hasn’t been able to get on the ice in gameplay, late last year when it was still allowed, he would work out four times a week at Crash Conditioning in Calgary with other WHL players.
It is a challenge to stand out during a pandemic.
“It’s tough with nothing going on. I think teams are watching the video and stuff like that and talk with you, whether an email or a call to see what you are like,” he said. “Everyone is looking to see if we can play or not, and after that, maybe there will be some tournaments for the prospects, but hopefully we’ll play soon.”
In the meantime, he is doing everything he can to prepare for what could be left of the season and keeps working out.
I am really lucky we have a good set up here at home in the garage where I can work out, and we actually built an ice surface in the back yard to go out and do a little bit of movement and try to keep sharp,” he said.
The players to watch list is the NHL’s Central Scouting’s compilation of top prospects from all the major development leagues throughout North America and Europe. The list is kept updated throughout the season.
The 2021 NHL Entry Draft is on July 23-24, 2021.

Titans aim for March restart

Titans

The Titans are still hoping to get on the field this spring.
Drumheller Community Football Association held their Annual General Meeting via video conference on Tuesday, January 19.
At the meeting, Karie Drouin was named president after Holly Laffin stepped down. Deb Sattler is vice president, Lydia Natiuk remained as treasurer, secretary is now Tamara Perry.
Senior Titans head coach Ken Fournier says there are still many ways to volunteer for the board.
Bantam coach Thomas Laffin stepped down from coaching. So the Titans are on the lookout for a new coach.
“Thomas has put in eight great years with us and has been one of our best volunteers,” said Fournier. “We were lucky to have him for as long as we did.”
Coach Fournier says they are aiming to start practice again come March 15, if provincial restrictions allow.
“We have a set of guidelines from Football Alberta, and of course, we will follow them.”
They are hoping to have a spring season for the senior team to allow the Grade 12 players to get back on the field before their high school career is up. He says they are looking at playing full games and are working on organizing a league with Tier IV teams in Southern Alberta. After that, they intended to continue with the regular season come fall.
“We are going to try and do everything we can, we just want to get on the grass,” said Fournier.
He said if someone is interested in coaching at any level, or to volunteer to serve with the board, they can contact Drumheller Community Football through the Drumheller Titans Facebook page or at www.drumhellerfootball.com.


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