Bears expect 50 athletes at invitational fall selection camp

Kristen
Kristen McEwen
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The A&W Bears are looking to fill only a few spots at their annual fall selection camp starting up in less than two weeks.

Prince Albert A&W Bears goalie Jessica Vance makes the save against Regina Rebels forward Delaney Fray during their March 20, 2013 game at the Art Hauser Centre. Vance is on the list of players to watch in the upcoming 2014-15 midget AAA hockey season.

“The break we’ve had since March has gone by quite fast,” coach Jeff Willoughby said. “Maybe it’s because of our anticipation of the season.”

After having lost only three girls to graduation last season, the midget AAA hockey team is entering the new season with a core group of six to seven girls that have been playing together for the past few years. 

“This year, we’re going to be a much older team, much older than we’ve been in the past,” Willoughby said. “If I look at teams in the past that have won the league, they tend to be … on the older side.”

He noted that the same core Bears players are now entering into Grade 11 and Grade 12.

“It can only be an advantage to have a lot of experience, so hopefully that can translate into success,” he said.

Current Bears goalie Jessica Vance will be entering her fifth season this year.

“She’s the one we’re going to put a lot of work on and hopefully we’ll play well in front of her,” Willoughby said.

Vance, defensemen Brooke Hobson and Morgan Willoughby are all on the list of players to watch this season. Forward Tylor Lindsay led the team in scoring last season and is expected to do the same this year.

“We’ve got a pretty good supporting cast of quite a few other players I think will play a big role as well,” Willoughby said.

The selection camp has been made invitational this year because of the large turnout at the spring camp in April which saw more than 50 girls.

“We want to (keep) a closer watch on some of the older players, to give us a fair chance to make the right selection,” Willoughby said. “We thought we’d have a better chance looking at fewer players, that’s why we made it an invite this year.”

He added that next season’s fall camp might go back to an open invitation, depending on numbers.

The camp will take place at on Monday, Aug. 18 and Tuesday, Aug. 19 at the Art Hauser Centre from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on both evenings.

The 50 prospects will go through fitness test at the beginning of each evening, followed by an ice session and two inter-squad games.

kristen.mcewen@paherald.sk.ca

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