The Warriors held its first annual Family Pond Hockey Tournament on January 4-5 at the Guy/Donnelly Sportex. As committee member Alex Brochu notes, based on the concept of three-on-three, non-competitive hockey, 14 teams took part.
The ice surface was divided into two rinks with foam dividers borrowed from the Nampa Minor Hockey Association and mini pond hockey nets, which were built and donated by coach Steven Gagne and his sons.
Each team included one or two players from the Warriors organization, who were then encouraged by their coaches – Hector Ouellette, Marc Brochu and Steven Gagne – to go into the community and recruit four or five more players in order to form a team.
These players were siblings, friends, relatives, children, etc.
Although most of the players were local, many came from the surrounding areas such as Peace River, Grande Prairie and Edmonton. The emphasis was good sportsmanship, teamwork and enjoyment within a family setting.
“A hockey tournament could not end without merits or trophies. But for this tournament, it was not about the best team or the player with the most points. It was about camaraderie and enjoying a good game of hockey,” says Marc Brochu.
Luc Blanchette and his team – Gilles Aubin, Joel Aubin, Alain Blanchette and Myles Hicks – were recognized for being the most “enthusiastic team.”
The sportsmanship award was presented to Emile Aubin and her teammates – Daniel Aubin, Zac Aubin, Jules Aubin, Melodie Maisonneuve and Mats Maisonneuve. Five-year-old Cooper Henley was recognized as the youngest player and Jules Aubin was the “oldest player.”
“But do not be fooled by this award. Mr. Aubin’s skills were not one of an elderly man!” says Hector Ouellette. Both went home with prizes. This event was a fundraiser for the Warriors Youth Rec Hockey Program and funds were also collected for the Children’s Wish Foundation.
“For the past three years, the Warriors have attended the Kimmett Cup in Cochrane,” says Alex Brochu. “The Kimmett Cup, which is also a pond hockey tournament, is a proud supporter of the Children’s Wish Foundation, and is being held in loving memory of Lindsay Kimmett.”
The Warriors look forward to hosting their event again next year.