The team may only have a few wins under their belt, but the novice Bashaw Stars are doing just what the coaches expected.
“We’ve got players that are in their first year of hockey right up to kids playing their fourth year and we have definitely seen a lot of improvement,” explained Stars head coach Trevor Schoff.
“It’s actually quite surprising being at the middle of the season and looking back. The kids are better at manoeuvring, have gotten faster at skating and are really getting the hang of grabbing the puck, passing and shooting.”
To go along with that, he added the progress the kids have made is pretty incredible — in both skills and understanding of the game.
“When you watch them everyday, you don’t always see just how big the improvements are,” he said.
“They have all gotten better at learning the various skills, but have also been exposed to the rules, which they are learning to follow better each time out. And, they are also starting to pick up and develop strategies being used.”
The Stars got their third victory in nine starts on Jan. 6 at home to one of Rimbey’s two teams, storming back in the third period for a great come-from-behind 6-4 victory.
And while Schoff said it’s great for everyone to put a mark in the win column, he says this season is all about having fun and learning.
“The objective at the start of the season was to make everything fun and, if they’re doing that, they probably try harder and learn more. That is certainly my hope at least,” he explained.
“And the fact they have made big improvements, shows this is having success, so it’s important to keep that up.”
Schoff added the kids all cheer each other on and show true sportsmanship on and off the ice.
“We also focus on the other aspects if the game is not going our way and look at the good plus opportunities to get better.”
The Stars were also in action on the weekend (Jan. 13) at home to Sylvan Lake, but a result was not available at press time. Next up for the club is a trip to Bentley this Saturday.
As well, the novice club along with the atom Stars are working on a drive for donations to support a worthwhile children’s charity.
The clubs are hoping to collect items on a wish list for the Ronald McDonald House, all part of the two teams taking part in the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northern Alberta’s Winterland Invitational tournament in Bonnyville next month.
A lengthy list of household and other items are requested and can be dropped off at the arena on Feb. 8 and 13 between 5 and 8 p.m. More information is available by checking out the Bashaw Minor Hockey Facebook page or calling either Kristy 403-783-0341 or Stacey 780-678-5885.
Shooting Stars — The rest of the Bashaw teams that got going after the holiday included the atoms, who played a pair at home and defeated Battle River 7-4 Jan. 6 followed by beating Josephburg 8-1 Jan. 7. The peewee and bantam clubs were back on the ice this past weekend, but the results were unavailable at press time.
This weekend will see the atoms home Friday to Battle River (6:15 p.m.) then in Ponoka Saturday while the peewees are in Evansburg and Stony Plain.