Peewee girls invited to Hockey Day in Canada

Hockey: Okotoks Gold to take part in Lloydminster Outdoor Classic

By: Remy Greer

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 06:00 am

Okotoks Peewee Gold TJ Meisel skates past a pair of GHC Warriors on Sunday at Scott Seaman Rink. The Okotoks team is off to Lloydminster next week to take part in an outdoor game during the Hockey Day in Canada festivities.
Okotoks Peewee Gold TJ Meisel skates past a pair of GHC Warriors on Sunday at Scott Seaman Rink. The Okotoks team is off to Lloydminster next week to take part in an outdoor game during the Hockey Day in Canada festivities.
Remy Greer/OWW

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The Okotoks Peewee B Gold girls are in for the hockey opportunity of a lifetime.

Based off a video submission, Okotoks was selected to participate in the Hockey Day in Canada festivities in Lloydminster where it will take on the Border City in the Peewee B Outdoor Classic on Jan. 17.

“They (the girls) were excited, you had to peel them off the roof when they heard,” said Okotoks Peewee Gold head coach Rob Gryba. “As you could imagine 11-12 year-old girls they get excited pretty easy, but something like that they thought was really cool. A once in a lifetime chance.”

The Outdoor Classic is part of the weekend of festivities in Lloydminster leading up to the showcase of the Lloydminster Junior A Bobcats on Jan. 18. Hockey Day in Canada, which features all seven Canadian National Hockey League teams in action on the CBC, airs annually with the public broadcaster on location all day from the hockey day city.

The Peewee B Gold’s bid came about in the last minute after Gryba got word about the event through Jennifer Dustow of the Okotoks Minor Hockey Association.

“(Jennifer) sent me an email saying she knew some people in Lloyd and they were looking for some entries to play this outdoor classic game for Peewee B girls,” said Gryba. “We had a quick team meeting with the parents, everybody was on board and we had four days to put a video submission together.”

Facing the time crunch, the team frantically put together a highlight video showcasing the team’s hockey spirit with assistant coach Emily Gryba and one of the parents filming and editing the video down to its five-minute length at the 11th hour.

“We got some ice-time through the association and went out and shut a bunch of video over the four-days, spliced it, entered it and ours was picked,” the coach said. “It was quick and dirty. Emily said she was up the final night before submission until 3 in the morning splicing it all together.”

The video features the team preparing for practice, taking instruction in the dressing room, skating and taking part in drills at Pason Centennial Arena and doing everyday activities, from sleeping to eating Fruit Loops, in full hockey gear.

“We wanted to make it funny and serious at the same time,” said Okotoks blueliner Rory Seymour. “We wanted to show that we wanted it. On our team I don’t think some of the (first-years) have ever done anything like this so we wanted to make it funny for everyone to enjoy.”

Showcasing a spirit for the national game was at the forefront of the production.

“We wanted it to show our community and how everyone is pretty much supportive and we all work together as a team,” said Okotoks forward Gracie Gryba.

“We showed hard work, but we also showed that we can relax a little bit and enjoy the game.”

Teammate Shaelyn Leckie agreed.

“We all just did drills and tried to look like we were having a good time,” Leckie said. “I’m really excited because I’ve never been to (something) like this. I’ve only been to tournaments where you’re playing lots of other teams.”

The Okotoks Peewee B Gold Girls are: Anna Maloney, Ellie Maksymovitch, Gracie Gryba, Jessica Campeau, Kaitlyn Fischer, Karly Kujat, Kiya Robinson, Mackenzie Campeau, Kenzie Halifax, Mary Dmytriw, Olya Klepacheva, Rory Seymour, Shaelyn Leckie and TJ Meisel.

For more information on Hockey Day in Canada go to lloydminster.ca/shdic

rgreer@okotoks.greatwest.ca


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