UNITY ‑ For the second season in a row hockey associations have been forced to stick handle through a pandemic, so it has never been more difficult on the executive, coaches, players and parents.
While Unity Minor Hockey, like many places, has had hiccups along the way, the manner the association has soldiered through to give the kids some semblance of a hockey season is commendable. At this point wins and losses are but a trivial thing. UMH COVID representative Chad Walz has been a busy volunteer and the contributions of Amber Sperle cannot be overstated.
The Community Centre is a beehive so there is no shortage of entertainment for hockey fans. A sure cure for the blues is a trip to the rink when U7 is on the ice. Unabashed delight is sure to lift your spirits. But please don’t forget your mask.
The membership numbers haven’t faltered, we have never had more coaches sign up to volunteer and fresh energy and enthusiasm on the executive, so things are mostly positive. And, thanks to Katherine McCrea, the future is electronic.
The 18U Lazers have been competitive each and every game this season and their record could have them near the top of the standings in the Highway 14 League with some puck luck. Almost every game has been decided by a bounce or two and that’s all you can ask for in 18U.
Coached by Shawn Kratchmer, Ken Coons and Jere Berger the Lazers will be playing provincials this month. Kim Berger is the co-ordinator.
The 15U Lazers are mid-pack in Highway 14 and are seemingly catching their stride. Carrying a big roster, it takes times for teams to gel and the Lazers are playing good hockey at the right time. They will be playing provincials once the draw is posted. Coached by Tyler Gilbert, Pat Risling, Mark Ralston and Curtis McLean, their manager is Regan L’Heureux and co-ordinator is David Weber.
Submitted by co-ordinator Aaron Rewerts
UMH has two teams in the H14 and both teams are doing well. Predominately a first-year group, the Lazers are hitting their stride although a Covid shut down took the wind out of their sails. Both teams have attended one tournament so far in Waldheim and Turtleford. They are at the renovated Community Centre most weekends, so if you have some free time, come down to the rink.
Team White is coached by Chad Walz, Brad Duncan. Amber/Jody Sperle and Ash Cooper with manager Sabrina Winterhalt. Team Black is coached by Garan Rewerts, Kevin Bretzer and Kent Headrick with manager Chantelle Bretzer.
The two teams combined to form a provincial team coached by Rewerts, Walz, Bretzer, Duncan and Headrick and they are entered in a tournament in North Battleford at the end of the month.
The 11U Lazers, who lost seven players to the West Central Tiered team, are still managing to be competitive in the H14. While COVID has wreaked havoc with the schedule, the Lazers have pushed on with smaller rosters and just getting the players games is its own triumph. Having said that, the teams will be contenders when the division playoff tournament rolls around.
Team Black is coached by Curtis Sieben with Karsten McCrea, Jarret Lewin and managed by Amanda Lewis.
Team White is coached by Ash Cooper, Kent Headrick and Jake Senger. The manager is Ashley Schumack. Graeme Gieni is the co-ordinator.
The 9U Lazers are also cut into two teams and games are just nicely going as per Hockey Sask guidelines. A strong group of enthusiastic players ensure 2022 will be fun for this group who have also had to deal with COVID interruptions.
Team Black is off to a solid start, coached by Aaron Agar, Graeme Gieni, Mathieu Kiefer and managed by Jocelyn Clark.
Team White is also off to a good start, coached by Kevin Tyler, Karsten McCrea and helped by Derrick Pitura and Dion Fowler. Blair Fowler is the manager.
Submitted by co-ordinator Kelsey Sperle
Our U7 group is made up of four, five and six year olds; most of whom have never experienced what we would consider a “normal” hockey season from start to finish. And yet, you won’t find a happier group of hockey players. We get to see many smiling faces, sweet goal celebrations and cute gloved waves to the family and friends who can join us in the stands again. We have thre teams this season and each have played about three to five games. They all show up and give their best, falling on the ice and falling for the game we love.
Under the watchful eye of referee in chief and mentor Scott Gilbert, Unity is once again the envy of the zone for the quantity and quality of our officials.
There is much promise in the younger officials as new members jump in to fill the void of those who have moved on to university. Meanwhile, with solid numbers, the senior referees get their fill of games.
Ashton Hewson and Todd Graham have returned taking a load off for Gilbert while Francis Kiefer decided to get certified and get back into the game. Gilbert has been able to limit the amount of out-of-town officials being brought in while many of the local officials have been seen in rinks all over the zone.
UMH currently has six senior referees, 21 male and female junior referees and three university students (Kyle Parker, Blaise Weber and Reece Gilbert) who have stayed certified and have worked games in Unity when home. Zenon Orobko has also recertified and has worked games in Regina and surrounding area this year so far.
UMH has scheduled referees for 85 local games this year plus sent young officials to work games in surrounding communities for more than 10 games.