Home-Grown Hockey Talent

Millet boys helping Icemen gain respectability in theCapital Junior Hockey League

You don’t need to go back very many years to find a time when local hockey players – those up-and-comers in the Wetaskiwin and Millet minor hockey associations – would look elsewhere to further their careers in junior hockey.
 The Icemen went five long years without qualifying for the playoffs, winning fewer than 20 games in total through those five seasons.
 Midget-age players, and those graduating from the top rung of minor hockey, were open to offers from other organizations in the Capital Junior Hockey League.
 They wanted to go elsewhere to play. They wanted to win, something unlikely to happen if they stayed in their hometown to play Junior B hockey.
 That desire to play in another town is now past history.
 The Wetaskiwin Icemen, coming off a 30-point improvement and a playoff berth one year ago, are 3-1 to open the CJHL season, are now relying on a strong core of local hockey players to win games.
 “This year the Icemen will see no less than a dozen local Wetaskiwin Minor Hockey products suit up in Icemen blue, red and white,” confirmed Icemen head coach Rick Gregory, now in his second season at the helm of the organization, and the architect behind last year’s turnaround season. “We are very appreciative of our strong association with minor hockey and will look to continue to build that relationship fostering the development of many more future Icemen right in our own community.”
 Minor hockey organizations in Wetaskiwin and Millet have produced a majority of those players, and will reap the benefits in many ways, from watching young players succeed in front of family and friends, to enticing more young players to join minor hockey after watching their hero’s perform regularly at the Wetaskiwin Civic Centre.
 The 2011-12 edition of the Wetaskiwin Icemen offers a roster made up mainly of local players. In fact, the front cover of the team’s official program features five players celebrating a goal in the home opener, and all five – Jordan Howe, Dylan Weaver, Ben Fonteyne, Zach Pezderic and D.J. Bennefield – just happen to be Millet and Wetaskiwin players.
 Howe, along with defencemen Steven Walker and Brandon Wark, grew up playing their minor hockey in Millet.
 “When I was young, I didn’t know much about the Icemen. I just played minor hockey in Millet. We’ve always been friends since we were little,” said Walker, in reference to teammates Howe and Wark. “And, I’ve known must of the guys from Wetaskiwin for a long time. You get to know them as friends and play better because of it. I always wanted to play junior hockey and when I was in bantam, I got to play in Wetaskiwin, which gave me the chance to play a better style of hockey. Junior hockey is a lot more fun than minor hockey. It’s just better hockey.”
 Walker has fond memories of his days playing minor hockey in Millet, especially the 2002 season.
 “In atom, we went to provincials in Fairview. We won the silver medal. Gold would have been better, but it was still pretty good,” recalls Walker, a 6-foot, four-inch, 210-pound defencemen in his second season with the Icemen. “Being that young, we thought it was pretty cool.
 “You got to have fun and be the best you could, and had thoughts that maybe one day you could play junior hockey.”
 So far this season, all three Millet boys have contributed to Wetaskiwin’s 3-1 start.
 Walker scored a power play goal on a booming slap shot in Spruce Grove last weekend, and has a goal and four points, Howe scored a penalty shot goal against Fort Saskatchewan last Sunday, and now leads the team with three goals and five points, while Wark has been a steady defender since missing the first two games of the season with an injury.
 “Wetaskiwin was the closest place to play Junior B. And I like the coaches. They coached me in bantam. I have a lot of buddies on the team,” says Howe, who won a provincial bantam title under current Icemen coaches Rick Gregory and Grant MacDonald. “We are all close friends, and the coaching staff is really good to us.”
 Next up ... The Icemen travel to Sherwood Park Friday and host the Edmonton Mustangs Sunday, Oct. 9 at 2 p.m. at the Wetaskiwin Civic Centre.
 Around the CJHL ... Leduc continues to struggle, and is still winless four games into the season. The Schwab Riggers host Spruce Grove Friday, Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Leduc Recreation Centre.
 Beaumont has won two in a row and now has three wins in five games, and is coming off a 7-2 thrashing of the Beverly Warriors last weekend. The Chiefs host the Morinville Jets Friday at 8:30 p.m.
 The Edmonton Royals are the league’s lone unbeaten team at 4-0. Along with Leduc, Stony Plain has yet to taste victory. The Flyers are also 0-4.
 

More Stories:
  • Tour of Alberta Simson Maxwell Stage 3 Begins in Wetaskiwin The corner of 52nd Street and 50th Avenue in downtown Wetaskiwin was a flurry of activity on Friday, September 5th, 2014. Entertainment stage, displays, children activities, food vendors and hundreds of spectators lined the ...
  • Kimto Stage At Waterworks Theatre Brings In Kevin Roy Wetaskiwin and region is whirling in first class entertainment this summer; Loonstock, the RCMP Musical Ride, NASCAR racing, Jay Semko and Punchdrunk concert, Tour of Alberta, Wetaskiwin’s Summer Showcase, the RAM Harvest ...
  • Playhouse For Fun The Millet & District Lions Club of Millet, like many other non-profit organizations in our area, raise funds for community projects. Over the past few months, the Lions Club has been at various events selling raffle tickets ...
  • City Of Leduc More Dynamic Than Ever! The Annual Leduc Community Registration Day is an informative and fun day for the entire family. This year was no different. Hundreds of Leduc and area families converged in the Leduc Recreation Centre (LRC) on Saturday, ...
  • Parade Of Programs Kick Starts Fall And Winter Season On Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 the Wetaskiwin Drill Hall was a flurry of activity as community groups representing athletic clubs, arts, culture and educational opportunities were displaying their products and services. ...
  • Edward Wolfe Leduc can trace its earliest roots to individuals looking for a new start, and as a place that opened its arms and welcomed people from all over the world. At first, it was a refuge for early homesteaders seeking an opportunity ...
  • CFIA Issues Food Recall Warning For Alberta The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a food recall warning advising Albertans to discard specific raw pork products because they may have been contaminated with E. coli. Testing has not yet found a link between ...
  • Leduc City Council Takes Next Step In Telford Lake Master Plan North Telford lands will evolve into outdoor amenity to meet varied interests Design and development of the North Telford Recreational Lands received a thumbs-up from Leduc City Council, Aug. 25, 2014, as part of a multi-phase ...
  • Salvation Army Outdoors The Wetaskiwin Corps of the Salvation Army held its church service as well as its annual BBQ and Corn Roast in the beautiful outdoor setting of the Lions' Campground on the last day of August. It was well attended by Salvation ...
  • Calmar Burger Bar - Gone For Now! The Burger Bar has been an icon on the main street of Calmar for decades and is known far and wide for its delicious burgers, green gravy (yes green!) and favorite fast food eatery for many of Calmar’s local residents. Fear ...
  • Wetaskiwin Composite High School Sabres Football WCHS SABRES FOOTBALL 2014 Roster Jersey #               Name 1                            Bishop, Davis 2                            Audet, Jaden 3                            Gabay, Joshua 6                            Brooks, ...
  • Council Notes From All Over County of Wetaskiwin Barry Campbell August 12, 2014 Alberta Senior Citizen Housing Association (ASCHA) - Barb Panich: Council invited Barb Panich from Municipal Affairs to attend a Council meeting to explain the process on ...
  • Recycling … For Future Generations By all means, the concept of ‘saving our environment for future generations’ is not new. Recycling has now become big business, involving global municipalities and commercial entities far and wide. On September 3-5, the Alberta ...
  • Sears Kids Cancer Ride Comes to Leduc On Sunday morning, September 10th, a little before 9:30am, a group of cyclists were greeted by Shawn Nawaz and his family, owner of the Leduc Sears Hometown store. They were part of the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride that ...
  • A Walk Through Wonderland If you have ever had the pleasure of experiencing the raw beauty of the Shuswap Lake region north of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, you might have passed by a walk into another world. We were given the opportunity ...
  • New Sarepta Demolition Derby On Sunday, September 7, 2014 in New Sarepta, a demolition derby in support of minor hockey entertained 1600 spectators despite Mother Nature’s grumpy mood. They were prepared for hard fun and did not care about a little rain. ...
  • Comics — September 11, 2014
  • Comics — September 4, 2014
  • Adding the Personal Touch to Healthcare The Wetaskiwin Healthcare Auxiliary provides many of the personal and homey touches and equipment that add to the comfort of mind, heart and body of hospital patients, especially those in Long Term Care (LTC). The funds it ...
  • A Unique Country Fair – Fusion Of Rural And Urban The Lakedell Country Fair is unique. The event is billed as the, “Join us for a fun-filled day at our 38th Annual Lakedell Country Fair, August 31st, Alberta’s Largest One-Day Fair”. This title becomes easier and easier to ...




 
  • Leduc Radio Ad
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia