Minor hockey kicks off new season this weekend

Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - With registration numbers declining across the nation, the Cumberland County Minor Hockey Association is trying to bring the fun back to the game.

Another season of minor hockey action will begin this weekend as players in the house league divisions from novice to midget hit the ice at the Amherst Stadium and Richard Calder Arena in Springhill.

"We're looking forward to having a successful season, one that's enjoyable for the players, the volunteers and the fans," minor hockey president Wayne MacKenzie said. "We have a lot of new executive members this year and a lot of new ideas."

One of the biggest changes this year is the adoption earlier this year of a new rink behaviour policy that MacKenzie and the executive hope will allow all participants to enjoy the game without have to deal with abusive or obnoxious fans, players, coaches and officials.

"We're losing too many good people because they don't want to listen to the abuse," MacKenzie said. "This policy isn't meant to tell parents to stay away from the rink, it's about coming to the rink and cheering on your son and daughter and being respectful of others that may be there doing the same. That also goes for coaches, players and referees. It's about respect."

MacKenzie expects there will be close to 400 children playing minor hockey in the CCMHA this winter with Parrsboro also offering a minor hockey program out of the Lions Arena.

Registration is down a bit from last year with most of the decline being in the midget division where several players have made the jump to major midget in Pictou County, the Junior C Fundy Phantoms or the Cool Blues Junior B club.

Another change this year is the addition of Rambler coach Corey Crocker as development co-ordinator. Crocker will be holding a number of clinics and activities for house league players and coaches while he'll also serve as a resource for provincial teams.

Rambler goalie coach Jean Alexandre will again be co-ordinating goalie clinics, with the first one set for Monday, while Rambler players will be leading power skating sessions.

Development weekend is set for Nov. 3 and 4 with activities for players and coaches while the Bluenose hockey tourney will begin the weekend of Nov. 23 to 25 and conclude the weekend of Nov. 30-Dec. 2.


Organizations: Cumberland County Minor Hockey Association

Geographic location: Amherst Stadium, Springhill, Pictou County

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