I have done this diary of a season for several years. I am back coaching Midget U18 AAA girls hockey. I just found out that we are going from 3 to 2 teams in Calgary. We only have two Bantam U15 teams supplying the three teams which would be ok since there are 3 years of Midget and two of Bantam. Problem we have is there are two sports schools that many players go to. The Edge which is a day school in Calgary and Warner which is a residential campus. They both have High School Varsity and JV teams. This year 8 of our top players are moving to these schools. I guess they get daily practice and dryland and parents think they have a better chance to get scholarships.
I don't know if I agree as 5 of my 6 graduating players have been approached by college programs, one grade 12 is going to a prep school in Ohio and the other still has to finish grade 12 but was drafted by Team Alberta in the CWHL.
I have requested that we move from 2 and sometimes 3 practices a week to 3 and sometimes 4 a week. We also did dryland one night a week last season and I plan to continue that.
So I think there is enough talent to have 2 teams in Calgary that have a chance and can show well at tournaments and attract attention to the players. Edmonton has only one team and has won the last five years. Red Deer was the best team during the regular season last year but we pulled off a huge upset and beat them in 4 games in a best of five series. Edmonton represented our Province Alberta and finished third in the National Championships. (We caught lightning in a bottle for two weekends)
Everything starts Aug. 13 with a week of conditioning camp, a week of tryouts and then a draft to disperse the players from the team that was dropped and the graduating Bantams and the season opener the first weekend after Labour Day. Last year our first league game was Sept. 7.
I will report on what we are doing at practice and whether it was good or not and take some video of us doing some drills, games or shootouts.