Local youngsters skate again

The Youth Roller Hockey League at Kings Sports Centre, rolled back into action this past Saturday after a three-month hiatus.

The programme now features five age divisions across 170 players and is expecting an additional 3-4 teams in January. A new 17 and under division was created to accommodate an aging group and the new Mites (6U) format has been structured to enhance individual player development and the overall “fun” experience.

Opening up Saturday’s hockey action were the Peewee matches, with a repeat of last year’s finals between the Appleby Sharks and Vampt Oilers with the Sharks winning 6-4. In game two the KPMG Senators started their season off with a commanding 6-1 win over the Stuarts Panthers. Player of the Game nominations were awarded to: Daniel Harrington (Appleby), Davin Gallagher (Vampt), Keegan O’Connor (KPMG) and Michael Matthews (Stuarts).

The Novice division opener saw a nailbiting 4-4 tie between Team PWC and MaplesFS Jets. The Dart Ducks showed their might with a 8-1 victory over the Walkers Blue Iguanas. Player of the Game nominations were awarded to: Josh Small (PWC), Thomas Milne (PWC), Matthew Nicol (MaplesFS), Ben Somerville (MaplesFS), Ryan Godwin (Walkers), Garrett Thompson (Walkers), Alex Priestley (Dart) and Jayden Mannisto (Dart).

The Atom division saw a very different kick-off than prior seasons. Historically a very defensive-oriented division, this year’s opener was anything but, due in large part to the new 4-on-4 format. The Conyers Canucks had an 11-5 victory over the WestStar Wild while Ernst and Young Eagles had a 12-6 win over the Eats Blazers.

Canucks Coach Dave Champoux commented on his team’s performance: “The Canucks were very happy with the team effort level. We were quite short-handed with two players out of the line-up. Our players needed to dig deep to keep up with the pace of play late in the game.

“The move from 5-a-side to 4-a-side this season has really opened the play and resulted in a much faster and more exciting game for the players and fans. The goaltenders will see a lot more action this season with the increased number of scoring chances and faster pace of play. We look forward to a very exciting season.”

The Cayman Islands Kings Travel Team will be venturing to Kissimmee, Florida on 6-9 October to participate in the ECHO Fall Classic Tournament. The C.I. Kings, which are part of the umbrella School of Fitness programme, will be represented by a new 8U squad from the Youth Roller Hockey League.

The programmme is coming off a successful June run at the Sunshine State Games that were held in Ft. Myers, which saw the 10U team claim the Florida State Championship and the 12U team earning runners-up in their division.

The C.I. Kings October 2011 lineup features Jabari Walrond, Joe Allom, Jayden Mannisto, Jaxon Stewart, Ethan Finlason, Justin Hastings, Turner Johnson, Noah Booker, Ryan Godwin, Nick McCallum and Nathan Hughes. The head coaches Ray Singh and Jean-Louis Beaudet with assistant coaches Scott Hughes and Andy Allom and team organizer Nicole Hastings helping out.

Hastings, who recently joined the hockey volunteer crew to assist with league communications and planning, expressed her sentiments on the hockey league and her volunteer post: “I would like to support the program in any way that I can, to get the Cayman community as excited about the roller hockey program as our family is. It would be nice to see the programme continue to expand and offer more exciting and competitive opportunities for our Cayman youth.

“Thank you to everyone who helped support the 8U travel team bake sale and draw over the weekend, which raised over US$1,000 to go towards the team’s travel costs to Kissimee. The support was absolutely fantastic and everyone’s enthusiasm and sense of community is greatly appreciated by the entire team.”

Kings Sports Centre Athletic Director Ray Singh added: “Our league has grown very quickly over the past four years, thanks in large part to our team of volunteers. While we have enjoyed numerous successes, we have endured our share of growing pains too. The addition of Mrs. Hastings will go a long way to assisting with better league communication, overall planning, and fundraising efforts.

“Nicole’s assistance thus far has been instrumental with getting our 8U C.I. Kings Travel Team ready for the Florida debut and a big thank you to Julie Hughes and the other volunteers on their assistance with the recent tournament fundraising.”

League games play each Saturday at Kings Sports Centre from 7:45am to 4:30pm.

For more information e-mail [email protected]

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