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Canora Minor Hockey celebrates season with full lineup of teams

The 2023/24 Canora Minor Hockey season included teams from U7 right up to U18, and girls teams in the U15 and U18 age groups.

CANORA — For the first time in recent memory, the Canora Minor Hockey Association Awards Banquet at the Sylvia Fedoruk Centre marked a season with a full lineup of mixed teams right from U7 all the way up to U18, as well as a U15 girls team, and for the first time, a U18 girls team.

Stacy Vangen, CMHA president, said at the April 20 banquet 2023/24 was “a very successful season. Having teams in every age group made for a busy Civic Center and provided many opportunities for CMH families and fans to get out and take in Minor Hockey at every age level.”

Where there were not enough Canora players to make a full team, players from numerous surrounding communities came together through the efforts of community volunteers to fill out team rosters.

Player awards were presented by each team for most improved, sportsmanship, most dedicated, and the Jerry Mydonick Heart & Hustle award. A couple of teams even made up their own unique player awards.


The awards for the U7 Canora Cobras were won by: Colt Edison (most improved), Lachlan Rice (most dedicated), Carlee Abbott (sportsmanship) and Owen Kozmaniuk (Jerry Mydonick award). 

The U7 Cobras were coached by Dayne Babchishin, assisted by Parker Rice, with Richele Mydonick as team manager. Throughout the season the coaches worked with the players to develop their skills, as well as playing games against other area teams.


U9 Cobras players who earned awards were: Anikin Noble (most improved), Jolene Wagner (most dedicated), Atlin Godhe (sportsmanship) and Alliannah Herriges (Jerry Mydonick award).

Kelly McTavish was the head coach of the U9 Cobras, along with assistant coaches Parker Rice, Aaron Herriges and Jodie Kowalyshyn, manager. McTavish said the team had a tough start to the season with many first-year U9 players, but “We improved all year and won some games later in the season, way to go, guys!”


Players from the U11 Canora Cobras/ Preeceville Pats combined team who won awards were: Odin Fullawka (most improved), Braden Skibinsky (most dedicated), Coy Kraynick (sportsmanship) and Chance Weinbender (Jerry Mydonick award).

The U11 Cobras/Preeceville Pats combined team included Head Coach/Manager Conrad Peterson, assisted by Brendan Skibinsky, who remarked, “The season was a great learning experience with Coach Conrad. At the start, we only had six or seven players, but call-ups from the U9 team really helped a lot. It was an amazing group to coach, they improved a lot during the season.” The team participated in league playoffs, including a big home win over Melville.


Award winners from the U13 Cobras were: Kasen Heshka (most improved), Wade Vangen (most dedicated), Declan Unick (sportsmanship) and Ashton Strelioff (Jerry Mydonick award).

The manager of the U13 Cobras was Genevieve Shukin. Assistant coaches were Bryan Heshka and Kurtis Shukin, working with Head Coach Jeff Sznerch. “We had a great year, I’m proud of this group,” said Sznerch. “We started slow, but ended up in the middle of the pack in league standings.” The team had an exciting playoff run, including a tight best-of-three series win over Grenfell in the third and deciding game.

U15 Ice

Members of the U15 Prairie Ice girls team who won awards were: McKenna Kriger (most improved), Emma Olson (most dedicated), Rylee Coleman (sportsmanship), Isabelle Smith (Jerry Mydonick award) and Ty Northrup, goalie, who won a special “Super Ty” award for “always saving the day with her tremendous saves.”

The U15 Prairie Ice girls team included Manager Jaime Johnson, Head Coach Nicole Korpusik and assistant coaches Greg Olson, Greg Smith and Bowdrie Northrup, but as Korpusik put it, “It’s definitely a shared position, we have a very well-rounded coaching staff with complementary skills. The season started slow, but we saw a lot of growth in the team by the end. A big highlight was our amazing 6-0 win over Estevan at home.” The team was eliminated in the first round of the Sask Female Hockey League playoffs.


Players from the U15 Highway 9 Predators who earned awards were: Seth Symak (most improved), Walker Wolkowski (most dedicated), Heinrich Bertram (sportsmanship) and Darian Serdachny (Jerry Mydonick award).

Terry Demchuk was the head coach of the Predators, aided by assistant coaches Dean Serdachny, Riley Erickson and Jared Lukey, along with Manager Maggie Lukey. 

“We competed hard,” said Demchuk. “In the playoffs, after losing four times to Grenfell in the regular season and tournaments, we finally beat them in the third and deciding game of our best-of-three series. Unfortunately we lost in the B final to Fort Knox.”

U18 Ice

For the first time, CMHA had a U18 Prairie Ice girls team which competed in the Sask Female Hockey League, under Head Coach Ryan Hauber. Assistant Coach Jeff Lendvoy and Manager Sherri Roebuck rounded out the staff. “We continued to grow and compete hard as the season went on,” said Hauber, “even if our record didn’t show it. We lost in the first round of the playoffs.”

Award winners from the U18 Prairie Ice girls team were: Jenaya Stevenson (most improved), Makayla Heshka (most dedicated), Brooke Taylor (sportsmanship) and Rachel Enge (Jerry Mydonick award).


For the first time in a number of years, the U18 Cobras were once again based in Canora.

Adam Vangen was the head coach, assisted by Bryan Heshka and Jordan Vogel. Jeff Sznerch was team manager. “We had a good season, it was good to have the team back in Canora,” said Vangen. Team  members celebrated first round success in both provincial and league playoffs, with wins over Carnduff (provincials) and Balcarres (league).

Members of the U18 Cobras who won awards were: Porter Wolkowski (most improved), Bryker Smith (most dedicated), Nathan Anaka (sportsmanship), Hunter Lamb (Jerry Mydonick award) and Bronson Heshka won the special “Goon” award for leading the team and being among the league leaders in penalty minutes.

The CMHA Jerry Mydonick award went to Jeff Sznerch for his many contributions in both coaching and managing teams over the years.

Stacy Vangen, CMHA president, said with this many teams, ice scheduling is one of the biggest considerations throughout the season.

“We hosted a ref clinic, coaching clinics, five home tournaments and a U7 jamboree, provided players with power skating, checking and skills clinics, as well as league, exhibition, playoff and provincial games. Each team as well as the Senior Canora Cobras team and Canora Skating Club were able to work together to ensure that every ones needs were met.”

Vangen said there are a variety of important benefits in having the U18 Cobras back in Canora, along with the new U18 Prairie Ice girls team.

“It provides role models within minor hockey for all of our up-and-coming players,” she said. “For our fans it provides a progression of the game. Canora as a community is great at coming out and cheering on our players.” 

Vangen and the rest of the CMH are looking forward to a season of continued growth in 2024/25. Plans are in place to once again ice teams in all age groups. At this point, projected numbers on each team for the coming season are: U7 (10 players), U9 (17 players), U11 (6 players), U13 (9 players), U15 Ice (16 players), U15 Coed (21 players), U18 Ice (15 players) and U18 Coed (19 players).

Vangen expressed gratitude to parents, grandparents, volunteers, coaches, managers and fans for their continued support.