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Top U18 hockey players showcased in Preeceville

Best of the best players prove why they are the best in the league with five Preeceville players among the best.

PREECEVLLE - The Preeceville Minor Hockey Association hosted a U18 All Star Game that featured the best of the best players from across the league in the All Star Game and Skills Competition on Jan. 14. There were 38 players, joined by six coaching staff members from the featured teams that were represented at the tournament was held at the Preeceville Skating Arena.

Members of the Preeceville Pats who were selected to participate were: Brody Shankowsky, Skylar Ryczak, Spencer Leech, Tomas Hauber, Kaiden Masley and Hudsyn Nelson. Other teams represented were: Moosomin Rangers, Indian Head Chiefs, Esterhazy Flyers, Melville Millionaires, Langenburg Warriors, Yorkton Weeks and ReMax Terriers, Balcarres Broncs and the Whitewood Elks.

Jesse Nelson, Jordan Vogel and Dawson Paul from Preeceville were three of the six coaches for the All Star game.

The skills competition featured five events: fastest skater, hardest shot, top goaltender, accuracy and breakaway.

Kaiden Masley of the Preeceville Pats won the fastest skater award with a time of 14.10 seconds. The hardest shot competition was won by Wyatt Fisk of the Moosomin Rangers who hit 88km/hour.

The breakaway contest had each goaltender face off against shooters and Kaden Plaquin of the Esterhazy Flyers was the winner. The top goaltender who stopped 14 of the 17 shots was Terrance Thomson of the Indian Head Chiefs. In the accuracy shooting contest Wyatt Evans of the Yorkton Remax Terriers was the winner with all three of his shots finding the net.

The All Star Game that followed saw a tie at the end of the third period between the white team and the black team. In a shoot-out that followed it was the black team that scored first to win bragging rights.

After the game was concluded, a banquet was held for all the players, families and coaches. Awards were presented at the banquet for the skills competition and best player from each team. Domonic McKay from Balcarres and Ryder Hildebrandt from Langenburg each received Most Valuable Player awards. Awards were a hockey puck with the All-Star Hockey logo on it.

“We hosted the U 18 Major Hockey League All-Star game and it was a tremendous success,” stated Jesse Nelson, coach. “We had representatives come from all 10 teams across the league, making up two teams. The boys excited the crowd, putting their talent on display. It was absolutely fantastic to see kids from different teams across the league playing as one, even though the competition was fierce. I’m sure all the kids really enjoyed themselves. There was a lot of end-to- end action, some great saves, and some beautiful plays. Preeceville’s coaching staff members were lucky enough to get to take part in the day’s festivities, and we may have had more fun than the players. It was a great day at the Preeceville rink. The banquet was well attended with representatives from all teams except Moosomin and Indian Head. Awards were given out and the meal was excellent. All in all, Preeceville Minor Hockey showed that a little hard work pays off. It was a great day for all involved.”

Jordan Vogel echoed Nelson’s comments. “The skills competition was amazing to watch as it showcased the best abilities of the top players in the league. It was also great to see all of the incredible talent throughout our league come together in a high paced, exciting and competitive game.  I’m just grateful that I had the opportunity to be part of the whole day,” he concluded. He also acknowledged Jesse Nelson and Candace Kuta and many other volunteers who made the day a success.

Local players from the Preeceville team shared their opinion of the day.

“The skills competition and all-star game was a great opportunity to see how strong our league really is. It was awesome to meet new kids from different towns and have the opportunity to experience such a well-organized and fun event, stated Kaiden Masley. 
“It meant a lot to me to be part of it because I know I’m not the most skilled player but I do try my best to pull my own weight to make the team better. I learned that effort and dedication is far more important than skill and talent because without effort, talent is meaningless. It doesn’t matter how fast you can skate or how hard you can shoot, it’s about how much you care about the sport and how much you want to not only maintain but to improve yourself and the team you play for. And as long as you are confident and hard working, you will be a wanted asset to any team, “\said Brody Shankowsky. 
Skylar Ryczak, who is rated as the top goaltender in the league, said he had a lot of fun and enjoyed the experience to meet and face off against everyone.
Today, only happens once in a lifetime. Make the most of it” -Michael Ray. 
“I chose this quote because I think that it explains the opportunity I had and how I will always remember it. I felt honoured that I was chosen to attend the All Star Day in my hometown and with five of my great teammates along with many great hockey players from nine other teams in our league. It’s a little sad that not everyone will get this experience but at the same time it makes it even more special,” concluded Hudsyn Nelson.