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Yorkton Maulers hold spring camp under new head coach

Players wanted who will show courage, character and commitment.
The Maulers had more than 150 attend a mid-week spring camp. (File Photo)

YORKTON - Jason Gordon is the new head coach of the Yorkton U18 Maulers, and he will be looking back as he begins the process of getting the team back in the Saskatchewan U18 boy’s Hockey League playoff picture next season.

“I think the first step for us is sort of looking back at our foundation,” he told Yorkton This Week.

Gordon said a strength of the team in the past has been looking locally for talent – Yorkton and region – adding the team was once known as the Parkland Maulers.

With that in mind Gordon said, “we’ll definitely make sure some guys, local players, have the opportunity to succeed.”

At the same time Gordon has to build a team, and he said part of that process is having scouts looking for talent across the province too.

In terms of talent, Gordon and his coaching staff had the opportunity last week to evaluate a lot of perspective talent holding the team’s spring camp with 165 players taking part.

The numbers were no doubt bolstered as the team held a mid-week camp when no other camps were on, and of course players recognizing there might be opportunities with a team that missed the playoffs, and with a new coach in charge.

“I think a lot of people were excited to see what we’ll be all about moving forward,” said Gordon.

The cream rose as the camp progressed too.

“It was a very competitive camp,” said Gordon, adding that there was a lot of talent on the ice for the final contest.

As it stands the Maulers have 20 players chosen for fall – the league requires 15 signed by June 1, and Gordon said he likes what they have assembled.

Now it will be Gordon’s job, along with assistant Grayson Neufeld and goaltending coach Warren Shymko to mould the group into a competitive team.

“I’m confident right now,” he said.

That process will include instilling a sage mantra from former coach Al Harrison – who wanted his players to show courage, character and commitment as the base virtues of a winning team.