Champions Hockey School picks up the pace

Champions Hockey School (CHS) is ready to hit the Cominco Arena ice on Sunday for an intense and fun week of on-and-off-ice training.

Champions Hockey School (CHS) is ready to hit the Cominco Arena ice on Sunday for an intense and fun week of on-and-off-ice training.

CHS is privileged again to have top-notch instructors Connor and Kellen Jones from the American Hockey League’s Oklahoma City Barons leading the way. Along with the the Jones twins, the ECHL’s Sahir Gill, and Quinnipiac University Bobcats assistant coach Reid Cashman return to lend their expertise.

“He (Cashman) is a big plus because, to be honest, I think that is why the junior thing is so popular,” said CHS instructor and B.V. Nitehawks coach Terry Jones. “Everyone wants to be there so they can have Reid assess them and see what they’re made of.”

The CHS added an extra week to accommodate all players in the age 15 and up Junior/College Prep camp that is made up of Midget, Junior, and college players preparing for the upcoming season.

“We have like 60 junior guys that wanted to skate, so we had to put an extra week in,” said Jones. “I also think everyone wants to be out there with the good players.”

The Junior group’s scrimmage has grown in intensity and entertainment value over the years, and this year the camp will again see local products assist the instructors and skate in the camp’s daily scrimmages. Joining the Camp will be Quinnipiac’s Travis St. Denis, Nitehawks assistant coach Kevin Limbert, Edmonton Oil Kings Craig Bertolucci, and former Smoke Eaters Craig Martin, Dallas Calvin, and Jake Lucchini.

“Each year the pace has increased,” said Limbert, a Yale Bulldog alumnus. “It was good six, seven years ago when I was still playing, but every year it’s just gotten better and better . . . the pace is incredible out there.”

Five groups will take to the ice, including young initiates in the age 5-7 group, age 8-10 Avalanche, 11-12 Bruins, 13-14 Bantam Prep. and the Junior Prep/College camp.

The younger players will go through an educational on-ice session, followed by a fun game of floor hockey, video instruction, and dryland training, while the Bantam and Junior Prep will feature off-ice training, video, a practice and highlighted by the end of the day scrimmage.

The camp also welcomes the return of Alex Evin who will run the goalie session. After winning a BC Inter-collegiate Hockey championship with the Selkirk College Saints in 2015, Evin was named assistant coach and goalie instructor for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the BCHL this summer.

The public is also welcome to attend. The Bantam scrimmage hits the ice from 5:15-6:30 p.m. and the Junior-College Prep 3-on-3 scrimmage goes from 9-10 p.m.