Tradition keeps present-day Fundy Hockey School healthy

Dave
Dave Mathieson
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AMHERST – The Fundy Hockey School is still going strong after 30 years.

AMHERST – The Fundy Hockey School is still going strong after 30 years.

"In the first three groups we had over 105 kids and we still have one more group (novice) starting Thursday, Sept. 19, and registration is still open for that," said Corey Crocker, lead instructor for the 2013 Fundy Hockey School. "In total we'll be in at around 140 kids, so it's a very successful hockey school again this year."

Crocker took over the post as lead instructor from Jeff Lewis who moved to Saint John over the summer.

“I’m very proud to be part of the Fundy Hockey School,” said Crocker. “This hockey school is a unique hockey school. It’s 30 years old, and there’s not many hockey schools in Canada that have lasted 30 years.”

Another unique factor is the cost.

“For what it costs, the hours you get and the instruction you get, it’s very, very good,” he said. “What’s also unique about it is that is starts just before the hockey seasons starts, so it’s like a warm up camp before the hockey season gets going. It offers that prep work for players trying out for teams.”

Instruction covers four basic skills - skating, puck handling, passing and shooting.

“It starts off with skating, the most important drill, and then you go into puck handling, passing and shooting. You need all those skills to be a good hockey player,” said Crocker. “We don’t have much time, so we touch on those skills and are able to get our point across, and hopefully the kids can take it back to their teams and use it in practice.”

Crocker elaborated on the importance of skating.

“You look at the success of Canada at the World Junior tournament in past three or four years and Canada hasn’t been very good,” he said. “You watch it on TV and you see how well the Europeans can skate.

“There’s always room for improvement for skating,” he added. “If you can skate 10 minutes or 20 minutes before practice or after practice, or improve your leg strength or your foot speed with off ice exercises that would be great.”

If he was allowed to teach only one skating drill Crocker said, “It’s about keeping your bum low and using the length of your legs for your stride, but that takes a lot of time and practice.”

The Fundy Hockey School accommodates kids at all skill levels.

“Sometimes it’s hard to do that, but that’s why I say the instructors we’ve had in the past are so important because they know how to communicate the drills and how to teach the kids so they improve.”

Crocker says the kids are very responsive.

“It attests to the people who volunteer their time in minor hockey,” said Crocker. “The kids have been very receptive and very mannerly and coachable. We have great youth here and great hockey players.”

Crocker credits the dedication of people on and off the ice for the success of the school, especially Roy Maltby.

“He’s been there since day one,” said Crocker. “And the school is 30 years old, so it’s a compliment to everyone in Amherst and to our sponsors for being there.

“The school is definitely a positive for our town and for our minor hockey association,” added Crocker. “All the funds raised at the Fundy Hockey School is divvied out to minor hockey each year in allotments, so it helps with things like jerseys and development.

Crocker said the school has a bright future.

“The Fundy Hockey School is looking at growing and being bigger and better and providing more opportunities for our hockey players in Cumberland County.”

 

 

 

Organizations: Fundy Hockey School, World Junior

Geographic location: AMHERST, Canada, Saint John Cumberland County

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Recent comments

  • Ned Braden
    September 23, 2013 - 12:33

    I was a 'student' at the inaugural Fundy Hockey School 30 years ago. From my group, about 5-10 guys went on to play Junior A, 3 played university hockey, 3 played Major Junior, one won a Memorial Cup and went on to play at least a decade of minor pro, and one (no, it wasn't me!) made it all the way to the NHL. None of our instructors wore helmets, nor did they hesitate to yell at us and put us in our places if we screwed up (me!). We all turned out OK, too. Let's not go all nutty with the political correctness. Thanks, Mr. Maltby, too.

  • Concerned
    September 22, 2013 - 21:09

    Why do we keep seeing photos of instructors doing drills but none of them are wearing helmets. That doesn't teach smart decisions.