Players put through paces during team tryouts

Minor hockey on the Saanich Peninsula is gearing up for a new season

Steven Heywood/News staff Peninsula Minor Hockey Atom coaches offered a few tips to young players during team tryouts this week.

Minor hockey on the Saanich Peninsula is gearing up for a new season.

Peninsula Minor Hockey Association has been holding a series of team tryouts and early practices for its various levels of ice hockey. While rep team players have mostly been selected and have started on-ice practices, house teams like the Atoms are still being put together.

Atom coach Rob Cooke says this week players attended afternoon and evening skills assessments. The kids were given skating and puck handling drills Tuesday evening at the Panorama Recreation Centre. The purpose, Cooke said, was to determine how to spilt up the players into three Atom-level teams to ensure the squads are as balanced and fair as possible. Cooke added the overall goal is to ensure the kids have fun.

The teams will be playing each other all season, as well as other  teams from associations on Vancouver Island.

Coaches Ryan Ellis and Simon Coley add they saw great skating and some hard shots.

“There will be great improvement throughout the season,” said Coley “Their skills will double and triple in no time.”

“I saw a lot of positive attitudes,” added Ellis. “Rob was giving them a lot of praise. They were there to have fun and play respectful hockey.”

Team and league schedules will follow the assignment of players and then the season will officially begin.

“We’re very fortunate to be able to go out there and skate with everyone. We have to lead by example,” said Cooke.

He, Ellis and Coley are coaches on the same Atom squad this season and say they are looking forward to a fun year with their young charges.

Find out more about Peninsula Minor Hockey at www.pmha.bc.ca.

editor@peninsulanewsreview.com