This year was a bit of a different start to the hockey season in Bashaw.
Dallas Bergstrom, who grew up and played his early minor hockey career in Bashaw, took over and slightly revamped the annual hockey camp that used to be hosted by Bashaw Minor Hockey.
The now 23-year-old has been out of competitive hockey for three years and was asked earlier this summer about operating the camp on his own.
“This is the first year on my own doing this. Also, wanted to give the kids a chance to have someone come back and do something for them,” said Bergstrom, who lives on an acreage near town and works at Bashaw Concrete.
“I can kind of give back to the community for all of the years that they supported me. And I get to be back on the skates with the kids, volunteering and helping out where I can.”
The camp ran Sept. 29 and 30 with players from Initiation to Peewee getting onto the ice for the first time for some practice, then a couple of training sessions with Bergstrom each day and ending the camp with some 3-on-3 game time for the three older groups.
“Things went well. The kids looked like they had fun, I had fun and shook the rust off my skates,” he chuckled.
Bergstrom made a name for himself as a bruising defenceman at just under six feet tall and 175 lbs.
His career included two years with the Camrose bantam AAA squad, where he earned 17 goals and nine assists over 62 games to go along with 123 penalty minutes. He then moved to Leduc’s midget AAA club where he put up eight goals, 20 assists and 75 penalty minutes in 34 games.
He spent just one season in midget AAA with Sherwood Park — scoring four times with 11 assists and 54 penalty minutes in 31 games — before returning to Camrose to play with the AJHL Kodiaks as a 17 year-old.
In three seasons with the club, Bergstrom played in 133 regular season and 22 playoff games, earning 12 goals and 31 assists.
While the camp is done, that isn’t the last time the teams will see him this season.
“The plan is to go out with each of the teams a few times throughout the season during practices and go through a few things such as power skating, puck handling and stuff like that,” added Bergstrom.
“And there is a possibility of another camp during the Christmas break, but we’ll see how things go.”