South Peace News
Top players with the High Prairie Red Wings and the head coach were in the spotlight at the Greater Metro Hockey League Top Prospects and All-Star Games on Jan. 17 in Bancroft, Ontario.
Red Wings head coach Trent Meyaard was behind the bench in the All-Star Game for players aged 19-21 years. He coached Team White that included Red Wings forward Ethan Many Bears.
They faced Team Dark that included Red Wings goaltender Brad Roncin, forward Keegan Ferguson and defenceman Kaden Desjarlais.
Red Wing forwards Nolan Noskey and Kaden Cardinal played on opposing teams in the Top Prospects Game for players aged 16-18 years.
Cardinal was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. He was acquired by the Red Wings on Dec. 10 from the Slave Lake Icedogs and represented his former team in the game.
Meyaard says the event was a great and exciting experience for him and the Red Wings players.
“We had a great time and all our players performed well,” says Meyaard.
“I was proud of all our players.
“Many scouts were at the games and watching on livestream – lots of eyes on those players.”
The games featured top players in the GMHL that has teams in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.
Three players who returned to High Prairie by Jan. 19 say they had a memorable time in the games.
Noskey was delighted with the experience to play in the game.
“When I first heard I was selected, I was excited,” says Noskey, 17.
“It caught me by surprise.”
He adds he’s been working hard all season.
On the ice in Ontario, he says the games showcased a high level of skilled players.
“Playing in the game was fun and I met a lot of other players,” Noskey says.
“It was like playing at a whole new level.”
He also enjoyed another hockey experience.
“The highlight for me was going to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto,” Noskey says.
Many Bears hopes the all-star experience will help him move to the next level of hockey.
“I was grateful to be selected,” says Many Bears, 21, playing in his last year of junior.
“It was an honour to play in the game with other highly-skilled players.”
He recorded one assist in the game.
Winding up his junior career, he plans to move up in the sport.
“I want to play college hockey next season,” Many Bears says.
“I want to prepare myself for the next level.”
Many Bears was also the only player to score in a mini shoot-out competition.
Roncin says he was privileged to play in the game.
“I was pretty excited obviously to be selected,” says Roncin, 21.
“It’s a big accomplishment.”
He, too, notes the high calibre of play than what he sees in the West Division.
“I found the game fast-paced and the players out there have a lot more skill,” Roncin says.
Playing in he last year of junior, he also wants to play college hockey next season.
“It’s nice to be back home and work towards winning another West Division championship,” Roncin says.
The all-star players and head coach returned to GMHL action Jan. 20 as the Red Wings prepare for their final 12 games in the regular season that ends Feb. 25.