What Hockey Is All About!!!! - 2016 Stories and Memories

Posted on Sun, Jan 24, 2016

Great Hockey People!

24/03/2016, New Sarepta Atoms 

We traveled to Onoway today, and while nearing the arena, realized we had forgotten our team's jerseys.....A million thoughts were rushing through my head as there was not enough time to go all the way home & back: who could meet us half way? Can we just use practice jerseys & tape on numbers? Should I ask the other teams manager if we can use theirs? After making a few calls, I decided to ask the other teams manager....She immediately jumped into action to help our team! She went and got the key for their associations lockers, and helped me count out some of their dark jerseys, even trying to find the same numbers that our kids usually wear. I was humbled by her kindness, and to be honest, their whole teams understanding/willingness to help their opponent!

Thank you so much Chantele & the Onoway Atom 2 Eagles! You made my error a much easier pill to swallow & I hope you all have a wonderful "off" season!

Feeling very human,



New Sarepta Atom 2

Coach of the Month - January

Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Month for January 2016 is Sheldon Dorash ofStrathcona.

Dorash is the Head Coach of the Strathcona Atom Stars female hockey team, and has been with the female program in Strathcona since its inception in 2012.

"I truly enjoy coaching female hockey. The girls are focused and hard working. It amazes me each season to see how much each player is capable of improving when provided with the right opportunities. I am a firm believer that hockey teaches our youth so much more than just skills on the ice. The life lessons for the players, parents and coaches are invaluable."

"Coach Sheldon always has the best interest of the girls on his team," said one parent in Dorash’s nomination. "He makes practices fun and the girls are always learning. His interaction with the girls both on and off the ice is always positive and encouraging."

Letter from a Volunteer Coach
01/19/2016, 10:00am CST By Minnesota Hockey

It was a home game. We were down 4-3 and I rolled the next line for the final shift. I heard it from the stands – it wasn’t the group of kids they wanted on the ice to close out the game. I wasn’t surprised.

The final buzzer sounded and I felt an anxiety wash over me, because I know that after I tell my players that I’m proud of the way they battled and praised them for positive moments in the game, some of the parents would have a different message – for me and for their kids.

I’m a volunteer. I’m a parent. My kid is on the team – and this is hard. I’m doing my best. I volunteered to coach because I thought it would be fun, I wanted to contribute, and, I genuinely care about this group of kids.

I like to think I know the game pretty well, but I know you sometimes disagree with me and my decisions. Hey, that’s OK. I would probably do the same if the roles were reversed, and I know I make mistakes just like the kids do. But what makes my job very difficult is knowing that some of you are contradicting my coaching on the car-ride home, at the dinner table and beyond.

As we pass the midway point of the season, it’s very natural for people to be “evaluating” and, of course, talking amongst each other at and away from the rink.

Can I ask for a little help? Please let us handle the coaching. Even if you don’t agree, please let your child be coached and let them understand the need to be coachable, receptive and respectful. In order for our team to be successful, we need you on board. You may not realize the type of impact your support of our lessons has, but trust me, it has a monumental impact on these kids.

As coaches, it’s our responsibility to push them and challenge them. That’s why we try so hard to make practices fun and engaging and energetic but at the same time forcing them into difficult situations and making them figure things out on their own. I want the kids to make mistakes. And then I want them to learn from those mistakes. Winning is fun, absolutely, but it isn’t everything. Far from it!

That’s why I strongly believe these kids deserve equal playing time – and I’m going to give it to them. They all signed up to play hockey. I don’t think I could sleep at night knowing I benched 10- or 11-year-olds or even 12- or 13- or 14-year-olds, over a bad pass or turnover. Why would they want to come back and play the next season?

Our team has lost more games than we have won this year – on the scoreboard. That does not make us failures. We certainly have failing moments on the ice, but we improve by learning from those failures. Our kids have also learned how to reflect and evaluate their individual and team performance. They have learned about performance factors and intangibles – things they have to learn through experience, not by being told. Adversity is something they will face in every facet of life. They cannot and should not be exempt from that, regardless of their age.

Lastly, I want to sincerely thank you for supporting your child’s love of hockey. I know how much of a commitment it can be. I’ll be honest with you. Sometimes after a long day of work, it’s hard to get excited about battling traffic, picking up my daughter, making sure she’s fed, and getting to the rink. Please know that your dedication is acknowledged.

Regardless of our differences in opinions of the game, we can support each other when it comes to the needs and goals of the team. Give it a shot. I promise, we will all enjoy the season a little bit more! Go team!



A hockey moment this crowd won't soon forget

By Charlotte Helston
Image Credit:
February 21, 2014 - 1:09 PM

VERNON - A peewee hockey player brought spectators out of their seats last weekend cheering, even crying, not because of his moves in the game, but because he stood against the rest of his own team and showed them something about courage and sportsmanship.

Matthew Marotta, 12, and his Prince George Cougars lost a game at Vernon's Classic tournament on a disputed goal. His teammates followed his coaches angry reaction and headed straight for the dressing room, foregoing the custom of kneeling at their own blue line before shaking hands with opponents. Against his coach's insistence—Marotta alone skated out to the blue line and took a knee.

Tia Heslop, team manager for the opposing Nanaimo Clippers, says she broke down in tears at the sight.

“All the fans were screaming and cheering and crying for his bravery, his respect for the game, and the true sportsmanship he was showing. We were all standing on our feet cheering for him,” she says. “That’s how you wrap up the game, he knew that. Even when he was being called off the ice by his coach.... He did the right thing, and did what his whole team should have done.”

The Nanaimo team skated over and encircled the lone Marotta, patting his head, the crowd cheering for him as he alone represented his team. Shocked spectators and parents turned quickly to social media to share the story. In one Facebook post liked 755 times and shared almost 1,600 times, one parent says she could attend 1,000 more hockey games and never see anything like it again.

“In the end, these coaches are here to be leaders for the boys,” Heslop says. “As coaches, parents and players, we’ve all learned from him and will follow suit. His parents should be very proud.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

Hockey is a passionate sport, with passionate parents, player, coaches, referees and managers.  Without this passion we would not have all the great volunteers that we do to help make hockey "The Greatest Sport On Earth".  When we get to witness the great things that happen in our sport, it is amplified by the people that share them. 

Great words from the New Sarepta PeeWees - "I would like to compliment the entire Stony Plain team as well as coaches and the fans for being so sportsmanlike in our final games By far the best team during the handshake we have met this year! I also would like to compliment both on ice officials, (Justin and Brandon) on a job well done today. We need more ref's like them! Thanks for a great year to 1660 as well! "


"I just wanted to let you know that last night's game was a great display of everything that is RIGHT with MINOR HOCKEY.

Sportsmanship between both teams, great hockey, great goaltending and great fans in the stands. It was wonderful.

Too bad you couldn't have watched it.

Thank you for a great year and all your hard work"

"Both goalies were amazing! The game was controlled and did not get rough or out of hand. Both teams played like they really wanted to win and it could of went either way. We should have had 2 Gold medal banners...New Sarepta's team played really hard and took the loss exceptionally well. In the hand shake the New Sarepta players were respectful and positive in their comments to our team. Kudos to their players, coaching staff and their manager, Rachel! Also thanks to Geoff who stepped up for 1660 and presented the banners.

Thanks to Dee, our Governor for being a resource for me this year! You were always available to answer my questions and guide me in the right direction!"

"The Lamont Bantam Hawks played Camrose Bantam 2B in their first round of playoffs and lost. However, at the end of the series, the Camrose team delivered a card and gifts to the Lamont team wishing them luck in their next series. I just thought this was such a great gesture knowing this team struggled all year long. It's nice to hear sportsmanship is alive and well!"

"The Strathcona Warriors want to say thanks to you and the coaching staff of the Wetaskiwin Bantams. I was our teams score keeper last night and I was impressed with your conduct and Friendliness! As a time keeper we often get barked at for not manning penalty box doors, forgetting to stop the clock etc. You went out of your way to be professional!! When I asked you about your goalie changes you made it clear and were a pleasure to deal with.

Just wanted you to know that I was impressed! Awesome job."

"I thought the officials at this game were very confident, fair and composed - they called a great game. It's nice to see some good young officials that can control a game in this manner. Compliments to them and their mentors. I hope they will continue to officiate for a long time - job well done" - Compliment for Dow Officials from Wetaskiwin 

"People need to realize that coaches, time keepers,refs, etc, have to have fun as well. The more fun we have, the more fun the players have. Being able to have fun amongst yourselves and being able to relax means wonders. Emails and people like you are to scarce, so thank you and have a great playoff...
P.S. Your manager is awesome to work with..take care"

"This Wetaskiwin official showed excellent professionalism and communications with coaches and players. He was very approachable and was consistent throughout the game in his call management. An excellent official I would love to see again and to see him mentoring young officials.

Job well done Danny, keep up the great work!" - Compliment for Wetaskiwin Official from New Sarepta 

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