Friday , 25 June 2021
Elk Point U9 Avalanche gear up to take on the Bonnyville U9 Pontiacs

SPORTSHOUND: A howling good time

Tales from the Timebox: November 3rd, 2020

Some people work an eight days on and six off schedule. Some work seven and seven. Some work five days and have the weekend off. Minor hockey right now is two game days and fourteen days off in between.

I know it’s a bit confusing right now. The North East League play starts next weekend, so any team that played in the last 14 days needed to take the weekend off. Confused? Me too!

Anyway, because there weren’t any games in our town at the A.G. Ross Arena, the Sportshound did take a little road trip Saturday morning to Bonnyville to catch a couple of Novice U9 games.

The players and parents seems to be adapting well to the new system of four on four, half ice hockey, for U9 players.

Players have a better chance of touching the puck and to learn some skating and stickhandling skills not having to cover 180 feet of ice.

They should have more fun and stick with the game. In theory. The fact is, any kind of minor hockey where I can go and watch in person is exciting right now.

U9 Avalanche

The game has four on four skaters with a fully dressed goalie. Tor ‘Tornado’ Aarbo getting the call strapping on the big pads for the first game. His cousin Stetson ‘Shack’ Reynolds behind the mask in the second game. Both of them did a sensational job in their goaltending debut.

It’s not easy packing that heavy gear around. The games are one hour long. Playing two thirty minute periods with the shifts two minutes long. The lines changing on the go at the sound of the buzzer. But the goalie doesn’t get any kind of break. And music was playing through the whole game. That was a little distracting for myself and may take some getting used to. They do it all the time in lacrosse I guess.

The Brousseau family are new to our town. I have been told they have four boys. Three of them are playing in hockey right now and if all of them are anything like this guy, it could be the start of Elk Point Sutter brothers.

Hudson ‘the Bull’ Brousseau is the second oldest. He is big and strong and has a very good shot already. He was leading the charge in the first game with 9 goals and an assist. Hudson ‘the Hammer’ Krankowski is another one of the bigger stronger second year players who can handle himself. He pounded in 6 goals.

‘Little Angel’ Ava Rawlake is far from an angel. She has a little bit of the devil in her too! Except for the fact she has wings and can really fly. Little Angel has become one of the more aggressive players on the ice, whether it be a boy or a girl. She was forechecking and backchecking and picked the pocket of a few players rushing with the puck. She scored 6 goals.

Set up man Stetson ‘Shack’ Reynolds connected nicely with a few guys on passes also going coast to coast scoring a goal. Jaydn ‘the Shark’ Sakowski circled the cage and missed sinking his teeth in on a few of his opportunities but finally found blood putting one into mesh. He did an old fashion fist punch celebration after. He also assisted on a few others. No mountain is too high for this guy to climb!

‘Mount Everett’ Hahn also makes a good wall and is pretty darn good at blocking shots. I see a potential defenseman here. He netted two goals.

In the second game, the little red-headed ‘Angel’ Rawlake racked up another 5 goals. ‘Hammer’ Krankowski nailing a hat trick, Grayson ‘Big Bang’ Koppang–after missing a few times in the first game–exploded with 2 goals, the Bull breaking loose with 2 goals. The Shark and Mount Everett with a goal each.

And ‘General Lee’ Barstad marching downtown on a breakaway buried one. After the goal he did a two-minute dancing celebration. His mother Tami, not quite fast enough, missed getting the General’s goal on her camera. It is really hard to keep up for sure.

Seems like goals and especially assists happen very fast in the new U9 format. They are not allowed to post the score or keep track on a game sheet according to Hockey Alberta rules. But I know for sure, there’s a bunch of assists to add to this report.

A big thanks to team manager Brandi Sakowski for giving me a hand keeping track of the goals and assists. She tallied them up as best she could so I could do my report. I doubt very much if the kids knew or even cared whether they won or lost these games. Especially on this day, being Halloween. What was more important was happening that afternoon when they would head out trick or treating.

Upcoming games

This coming weekend at the A.G. Ross Arena, our micro novice U7 play at 8.30am Saturday morning against Glendon. This will be the first game ever for some of these kids. The U9 team will play right after them against Bonnyville. Then on Sunday, the Atoms U11 will play Irma and Peewee U13 will be playing here at home against Lac La Biche. As far as I can tell the U18 and U 15 are still on a time out.

 K. A. Campbell quote of the week. “ Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out“ – John Wooden

About Doug Bassett

As Elk Point's resident sportshound, Doug Bassett has been actively involved in the local sports scene for over 30 years. He's been writing sports reports on local amateur sports starts for 20 years. Down-to-earth honest sports reporting, Doug will bring you updates on the sports that matter the most; your kids! Known for giving every kid on the team a unique nickname and highlighting their attributes, Doug will make sure you're up-to-date with scores, games, and locker room antics!