‘Showcasing their talents’

Nine Prince Albert Northern Bears and two P.A. Pirates have survived the first round of cuts at SaskFirst camp. (File photo)

Prince Albert players moving forward following SaskFirst hockey camps

The Saskatchewan Hockey Association (SHA) has announced its U16 male and U18 female fall camp and U16 female Team Saskatchewan lineups following weeklong skills camps in Wilcox, Sask., and 11 Prince Albert players made the cut.

The province’s top 42 players at the U16 male, U16 female and U18 female levels were invited to the SaskFirst selection camps. Of those players 20 survived to make up the U16 girls’ provincial team, while 26 boys and 25 girls earned spots at U16 and U18 fall camps in September.

Of the 15 current, future and recently departed P.A. Northern Bears players attending the camps nine were selected to advance and both bantam ‘AA’ P.A. Pirates made it through as well.

On the girls’ side, Bears forward Jasper Desmarais and incoming Bears skaters Jessie Herner of Kindersley and Saskatoon’s Paris Oleksyn were named to the U16 provincial team. They will compete in a tournament in Swift Current from Sept. 7 to 10.

Advancing to U18 fall camp are goalie Ryan Fontaine, defencemen Hannah Koroll and Abby Soyko, and forwards Camryn Amundson, Kate Ball and Miranda Heidt. They will be in Regina from Sept. 21 to 23 to take on USports teams including the U of R Cougars at the Mandi Schwartz Challenge.

Bears president Robin Wildey said he was proud to see so many of his players have successful camps.

“That’s basically 49 per cent of our roster, so that’s a big step for us and very good accomplishment for our girls,” he said.

Wildey said the participating Bears will benefit from the “elite-level coaching” offered by the SHA programs and will hopefully return to their club more sure of themselves.

“Being selected for top level teams in your province (builds) nothing but confidence and drive and hunger to get better and to show people throughout the province that you guys made the right choice.”

On the male side P.A. Pirates defender and Saskatoon Blades draft pick Alex Ozar and forward Ethan Ironside, drafted by the Kamloops Blazers, will attend U16 fall camp back in Wilcox from Sept. 14 to 17. They will face off against three Saskatchewan Midget ‘AAA’ Hockey League (SMAAAHL) teams in an exhibition tournament.

“For both of them it’s an opportunity to showcase their talents,” Pirates head coach Shawn Phaneuf said.

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