March 15th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 11
Thunder hockey Bantam boys push on to Provincials
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Anna Kroupina Photo
Front row, left to right: Cole Wemp, Tucker Gietz, Foster Fowler, Sante Canderan, Kyle Gault, Cooper Snider. Back row, left to right: head coach Rory Snider, assistant coach Waren Gietz, Landen Yakubowski, Cameron Hewison, Lyndon Ewen, Chris Collings, Jace Lewis, assistant coach Stacy Ewen, assistant coach Brock Wakaluk, assistant coach Jason Canderan.
Pass Herald Reporter
Crowsnest Pass Bantam Thunder boys’ hockey is a small team of only 11 players, but they’ve got enough heart to fill an entire arena. It’s this drive that has pushed them through to qualify for Provincial Championships in Hanna from March 16 to 19.

The Bantam team played and won against Pincher Creek, Warner and Okotoks to make it through to provincials, where they will have three rounds to try and advance to becoming Zone 5D champions in provincial play.

“They are usually in tight, close game,” says head coach Rory Snider. “It’s a difficult task to ask them to keep working as hard as they have in order to compete, but they’ve bought into it. I give the kids a lot of credit because with 10 skaters, it’s a very difficult task to play the style of hockey that I’m asking them to play, but they’ve done a great job.”

Going into Provincials, Snider says the team will work on improving the skills that made them successful coming here.
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“The success really comes down to the kids trying to play together as a team. There was a lot of individualism before, as young players, so they had some adjusting to do to try to work together as a team and see what kind of benefits that has,” says Snider. “That team concept is what they’re buying into and they’re starting to reap the benefits from that.”

Snider notes that in all his 13 or 14 years of minor hockey, this is only the second year that Crowsnest Pass has had a local Bantam team actually iced in the Pass. Kids have traditionally participated in other communities because there weren’t enough players to make a team in the Pass.

Fourteen-year-old team captain Lyndon Ewen, who has been playing hockey since he was four, says that going forward into Provincials, the team will continue working on executing their systems even better.
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“One of our main keys to every single game was to play for the person next to you, and not just yourself,” he says. “We really try, as leaders, to encourage the kids that after you get a goal to keep going or if you get scored on, to push back and try even harder to get the goal back.”

The round robin games in Hanna will determine whether the team proceeds to semi-finals and finals.

“It’s going to be tough,” says Snider. “There’s going to be some good teams there that will make it a challenge for them to see where they’re at and exactly what it is that they’re going to have to do in order to have success.”
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March 15th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 11
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