Eight teams of young minor hockey players with all their gear, families, coaches, managers, fans, and all the necessary officiating staff descended on the Bentley Arena for the Bentley Novice and Dynamite Canucks hockey tournament on March 12 and 13. There were four teams participating in each category.
It took a lot of people to make the tournament such a success: all the parents and families connected with the dynamite and novice teams, great support and sponsorship from local businesses and individuals, high school students who manned the time box and announcer’s booth, concession workers, arena staff, and local referees who were utilized as much as possible.
Saturday morning kicked off with the Bentley dynamite Canucks meeting Sylvan Lake and Sunday late afternoon ended with the Bentley novice Canucks against the Sundre novice team in the A final.
At the end of each game during the tournament, teams selected their Most Valuable Player and a Heart and Hustle Award winner who each received a trophy and hat respectively.
In the dynamite (six- and seven-year-olds) division, Bentley won two games and lost one. They beat Sylvan Lake 16-12 in their first game, later defeated Red Deer 13-11, but lost their last game to Rocky Mountain House 16-11.
Coach Matt Peterson and assistant coach Darcy Forrester found it very difficult to choose a MVP and Heart and Hustle player for each game as all the kids played so very well.
“We appreciated all the help from the parents, high school students and sponsors that made it all possible, and of course the fans,” stated Peterson.
The Bentley novice Canucks team (the eight and nine year olds), who the coaches thought played extremely well, also won two and lost one. Bentley easily defeated Red Deer 24-0 in their first game, then beat Airdrie 11-4, but lost 7-6 to a very skilled and fast Sundre team. Their record was good enough though to advance them to the A final against Sundre and meet them a second time on the Sunday.
This time it was Bentley’s turn to win. It was a hard fought back and forth game that was similar to their round robin meeting, but this time Bentley was the team that scored in the final few minutes to win 8-7.
The novice team of 17 boys and girls is coached by Jeremy Park and Ed Butcher. They finished their regular season with a home game against Hobbema on March 26.
During the regular league season they competed against four Sylvan Lake teams, four from Lacombe, two from Blackfalds, two teams from Rimbey and two from Ponoka.
The Bentley novice Canucks had also played exhibition games against Clive and Hobbema and participated in a tournament in Eckville in February, where the team won their preliminary games to earn a spot in the A final but lost to Sundre #2 (a different team than the one in Bentley) in a well played game.
“I would like to thank the parents of our players, as they are the ones who sacrifice their weekends and evenings so that their kids can have the opportunity to have fun and play the game we all love, Hockey. I have really enjoyed my time coaching these kids and can’t wait for next season,” says Park.
Bentley Minor Hockey has also been excited to play a role in Bentley’s bid to become Kraft Hockeyville 2011 that will culminate on April 2 with a big celebration.
The Bentley association welcomes new players to help ensure the future of hockey in Bentley. Anyone interested (boys or girls) can call Brian Gerrits, Bentley Minor Hockey president, or come to the fall registration meeting.