Proceeds from 2014 Western Regionals given back to the community

Andrew Schopp
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2014 Midget-AAA Western Regional championship chiarmen Joe Bexon (left) and Bob Smisko (right) present Prince Albert Minor Hockey technical director James Mays (middle) with a check for $11,898 at a press conference on Thursday at the Art Hauser Centre. The Western Regional tournament's committee profited just over $35,600 from the event with PAMH, the Prince Albert Mintos and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation each receiving one-third of the proceeds. Herald photo by Andrew Schopp 

Proceeds from the 2014 Midget-AAA Western Regional Championship held in Prince Albert went back into the community on Thursday.

The Western Regional tournament’s committee profited just over $35,600 from the event where the Prince Albert Mintos punched their ticket to the 2014 Telus Cup in Moose Jaw en route to becoming national Midget-AAA champions.

The Mintos, along with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Prince Albert Minor Hockey, received one-third of the total proceeds, each receiving a check for $11,898.

Receiving more funding then they anticipated, PAMH technical director James Mays said the organization already has plans for the money, which will be used to promote the development the program’s coaches.

“We have a three-year plan,” explained Mays. “We want to start right at the IP and novice level and start to put on specific practice sessions where we will have coaches out at the rink, teaching them skills they can take back to the players.”

Also receiving funds on Thursday was the JDRF, a organization focused on Type-1 diabetes research with the overall goal of improving the lives of all people affected by the disease.

The Mintos’ portion of the proceeds will go towards the day-to-day operations of the hockey club.

Mays said that the money given to PAMH will get to work immediately, with plans to get coaching development sessions going in the fall which will “teach coaches to teach,” with a heavy emphasis on skill development. 

Mays agreed that coaching in hockey today focuses too much on structured systems, which hinder a player’s freedom to handle and be creative with the puck. 

It’s a trend noticed at even the Western Hockey League level, where a pass or chip down the ice has players going right into their forechecking systems, rather than seeking creative ways to regain possession. 

Mays explained that PAMH’s coaching philosophy is to focus on skills, which he believes need to be developed before a coach works with players on power play or penalty killing structures.

“You need to work on skating, passing, checking, read and react type things,” Mays said. “If you cant do those basic skills, your useless on the power play anyways. That’s part of our philosophy, we want to teach skills.”

On display at Thursday’s press conference was the Mintos’ 2014 Telus Cup championship banner as well as the Cup itself.

The Mintos won the franchise’s third national title on April 27 with a thrilling 4-3 triple-overtime triumph over the Grenadiers de Chateauguay at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw. 

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