by Ashley C., Roncalli High School, Port Saunders NF
Linda Massie and Aaron Caines, two hockey players from Roncalli High School in Port Saunders, Newfoundland, got a chance to experience challenging hockey in Sydney, Nova Scotia while playing in the Atlantic Challenge Cup hockey tournament.
photo of A. Caines and L. Massie
Caines was chosen to play with Newfoundland's under-17 male hockey team whereas Massie was chosen to play with Newfoundland's under-18 female hockey team. The two players teamed up with other players from across the province to participate in the tournament.
The Sobeys/Coca Cola Atlantic Challenge Cup involves teams from all the Atlantic provinces. Tryouts for the Newfoundland teams were held in St. John's to determine which hockey players were good enough to represent the province this year in Sydney for the tournament.
"They graded each player on a scale of 1-5 for each drill and that's how they picked the team," stated Massie. "I didn't think I'd make Team Newfoundland because there were 14 defense men trying out, and four had been on the team the year before. So there was a lot of competition in making the team."
"There were about 70 other people trying out for the team and only 12 forwards made it," added Caines..
The Atlantic Challenge Cup creates opportunities for those young hockey players who were chosen to participate in the tournament in Sydney. A national team, Team Atlantic, would be picked from the teams played in the Atlantic Challenge Cup. A minimum of three players from each provincial team will have the opportunity to represent the Atlantic provinces in a national tournament where they will play against other teams from various parts of the world.
"I was very proud to be representing my province in such a great tournament. It was exciting to be playing at such a high level of competition." says Massie.
"These tournaments give you a chance to be recognized by many people and scouts all around," noted Caines.
Until next year's tryouts Massie, Caines and all the other young hockey players hoping to make the Newfoundland teams, will be working hard practicing and improving their skills for the upcoming tryouts. If you want to try out for Team Newfoundland, ask your coach to find out when and where the tryouts are held.