Welcome back hockey

By Jamie Harkins

September 13, 2017 4:31 PM

The action was fast and furious at the Lloydminster Fountain Tire bantam AAA Bobcats intrasquad game that closed out the team’s main camp earlier this month. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO

Now that hockey is about to start another season of glorious highs, hard battles and unforeseen lows, I though the game deserved a few unneeded comments from this bench.
Of course we all realize the start of hockey season as the time to get back to work.
That means early mornings, long nights and, probably, huge stretches of trying to figure out why we’re doing what we do.
Everything has a meaning be it from a swarm attack to have fun and even the column is filed.
“Move the puck.” If you’ve battled in the corners for possession, you’ve heard the referees yell that one.
“Win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” Who can forget that muse.
“I don’t know if you were playing offense for them or defence for us.” It’s always hard to tell for those lucky coaches.
I love hockey and appreciate the hard work and dedication of the many minor league coaches and volunteers who spend countless hours, days and weekends each winter giving their all to help teach kids the beauty of Canada’s game.
I’ve never helped coach a minor hockey league team, but I’d like to try someday, even though I’m sure I have no idea what to ask.
And that’s especially true if a reporter approached me after a game asking for a few comments on their play.
Just to give you a sample of what I mean, the Estevan bantam AA Bruins had a tough go last season and I covered them pretty heavily.
After games, I’d lean against the wall outside their dressing room and listen to Tom Copeland, their head coach, yell, beg and reason with his players to give a better effort on the ice.
He’d then come out to see me unbelievably calm, cool and collected. I, on the other hand, was either afraid of also facing his wrath or trying not to laugh at his just spoken offhand comments.
The Bruins squeaked into the playoffs that year thanks to a late-season surge and advanced to the second round.
Tom’s pleading must have paid off, which may have made up for the early mornings, late nights and lost weekends he dedicated to helping this group of kids excel at the game.

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