Passing on their magic 0
Recently acquired Pembroke Lumber King players Stephen Hrehoriak and Keegan Harper instruct Pembroke Lumber Kings hockey school participants (left to right) Jake Kozelen, Madison Dagenais, Jake Pilon and Samarah Jones.
The Pembroke Lumber Kings hockey school ran this week with participants hitting the ice at Pembroke and Area Community Centre.
Held a week later than in previous years and scaled down to one session, Kings’ coach and general manager Sheldon Keefe said the school is “working well.”
In past years the school has run a week earlier, but with the roof being repaired and the ice not being installed until last week, the school was held a week later, which benefited the young hockey players and the Lumber Kings players.
With the hockey school being held a week later, the junior players were in town to help with the school.
Owen McDade is in town from Combermere to participate in the training camp. He spent time this week working with kids at the hockey school.
“I like it. It’s nice to give back to the kids and all the kids really look up to you,” said McDade, who played three games with the Lumber Kings last year.
Every day this week the seven- to 13-year-olds hit the ice at 7:30 a.m. and they spent four hours a day on the ice. During the morning ice time the kids focused on power skating for two hours and in the afternoon they honed their personal skills for another two hours by participating in hockey drills.
Off the ice, the participants worked on developing their conditioning skills. The camp wrapped up at 4 p.m.
Typically, the hockey school is held a week earlier, and runs two classes for two weeks. Keefe is pleased with the way the school and hockey camp have been scheduled because it has allowed the players to help out with the camp and it has also given them time to settle in to the community before the season gets into full swing.
“Everything seems to be running a lot more efficiently because we aren’t rushing into exhibition games,” noted Keefe.
In previous years the players have shown up in the throes of preseason training, which includes being on the road.
“There is a lot more coaching done, which is tough to do in the regular season because we are on the road travelling,” said Keefe.
With 33 players still participating in the training camp, PLK coaching staff will be weeding the team down to 23 before the season begins.
“I can make a case why each of them could have a position on our team,” said Keefe. “but it leads to difficult decisions.”
Traded to the PLK this year, Stephen Hrehoriak is new to the team and looking forward to the upcoming year.
“It’s kind of exciting to have a chance to play here now,” said the Stittsville native, one of the league’s top offensive threats last season.
Along with helping out with hockey school, the players attended junior hockey practices nightly.
The Kings hit the road this week travelling to Gloucester Sunday, Aug. 26 for a 3 p.m. game with their first home game scheduled next Friday, Aug. 31 against Carleton Place. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
Cyndi Mills is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist