ATHABASCA - After a month of conditioning and development training, Athabasca & District Minor Hockey Association (ADMHA) teams are getting back into the competitive spirit, facing their first out of town teams of the new hockey season, with the blessing of Hockey Alberta and Alberta Health Services.
With physical distancing and mask-use mandates in place among spectators, the Athabasca Regional Multiplex hosted six Hawks games over the weekend, while five other Hawks games took place on the road.
TJ Bobocel and Tristen Durell are both U18 Hawks who were masked up as spectators as they awaited their Sunday game against Fort McMurray while the U15-2 team faced off against Fort Saskatchewan beforehand. They’re just glad to get back into the swing of things with regular games.
“I’m pretty excited,” said Bobocel. “It will feel like normal hockey, but when we look in the stands we’ll see everyone there wearing masks. It will be way more entertaining knowing they came to watch us even though they have to follow more rules than usual.”
Only 100 spectators are allowed in the stands at this time, and everyone over 10, who is not on the ice must wear a mask. ADMHA is currently distributing tickets to home games to help enforce that limit.
“Hopefully it all runs smoothly and hopefully the season doesn’t get cut short,” said Durell.
Ten Athabasca teams will take to the ice this year — two U18s, two U15s, two U13s, two U11s, and one U9 and U7 each.
It was a mixed weekend for Hawks teams as the U18-2 team tied CNN2 4-4 Friday, then lost in Slave Lake 6-1 Sunday. The U11-2 team also lost 6-4 at home against Fort Saskatchewan Saturday, but travelled to Devon Sunday and scored an 8-4 win with the help of four goals from Jacobi Lightning.
The U15-2 team went goal for goal on home ice with Fort Saskatchewan Sunday, with two goals from Tanner Miller and two assists from Alphie Wighum, but fell short 5-4.
The U13-2 team tied 2-2 on the road in Slave Lake.
Details for home games involving the U9, U15-1 and U18-1 teams were not available as of press time, nor were details for road games with the U15-2 team in Vegreville and the U13-1 team in Whitecourt.