CANORA - Minor hockey season is underway, and the Highway 9 Predators, with players from Canora, Kamsack, Sturgis, Buchanan and Norquay, hosted a U15 tournament in Canora. Even thought the Preds had five players missing at the Oct. 29 and 30 tournament due to illness as well as other commitments, they found a way to win the B side championship and the Candy Cup that goes with it.
In their first game action of the season, the Preds met the Humboldt Broncos on Saturday and went down to defeat by a score of 9-3. Linden Roebuck of Buchanan gave the host team a 1-0 lead in the second period and added two more goals in the third, but the Broncos proved to be too much to handle in this game.
In their second game of the day, the Preds team players bounced back with a 5-3 win over the Carrot River Loggers. Keland Thomas of Kamsack led the offence with a hat trick.
The win earned the host team a spot in the B final on Sunday versus the Kelvington Park Posse, which ended in a 10-6 win for the Preds and the B side championship. Thomas and Roebuck kept their hot sticks going against Kelvington with a hat trick each.
Other Preds goal scorers over the weekend were: Reein Godhe (Canora), Alaina Roebuck (Buchanan), Bracyn Konkel (Sturgis), Aidyn Lukey (Norquay) and Kayden Harder (Canora).
Reagan Severight of Kamsack and Cody Vangen of Canora shared time in goal.
Head Coach Jeff Sznerch said the Preds played very well overall in the tournament, especially with this being the first game action for the players this season.
“With a significant number of players missing, there was lots of ice time for everyone in attendance,” said Sznerch. “These games allowed us to figure out some line pairings and begin to build some team chemistry as there are a number of new players on our roster in comparison to last year’s team. In addition, it gave some of the kids their first taste of contact hockey as these were their first games in the U15 age division. As an added bonus, the teams we played were all new to us as none of our opponents are in the Major Hockey League, which is the league our team plays in.”
Hosting this tournament so early in the season is expected to lead to significant long term benefits for the Preds.
“We are able to work on coming together as a team and get into better game shape before there are any implications for wins and losses like there are with league play,” shared Sznerch. “It was great to win the B side in the tournament but that wasn't the entire focus of our games. We are still in the process of sorting out positions and line pairings, which is sometimes difficult to do outside of a game situation. Furthermore, an early season tournament is much easier to fill with teams, as most are looking to do the exact same thing as we are.
“As the season progresses, we will focus fine-tuning our team play in all facets of the game as well as individual skill development.”
Members of this year’s Highway 9 Predators are: Keland Thomas, Regan Severight and Jaydan Severight of Kamsack; Cody Vangen, Devon Paley, Logan Sznerch, Kayden Harder and Wyatt Wolkowski of Canora; Alaina Roebuck, Linden Roebuck and Reein Godhe of Buchanan; Weston Lindgren, Aidyn Lukey and Jack Korpusik of Norquay, and Darian Serdachny, Parker Ryczak, Bracyn Konkel and Avyn Seerey of Sturgis.
The next action for the Preds is Nov. 19 in Yorkton against the LDC Terriers at the Kinsmen arena.
“We’re looking forward to a fun and competitive season this year,” concluded Sznerch.