BY ZACHARY CORMIER
As the leaves fall from the trees and winter draws ever closer, the Lacombe Minor Hockey Association is gearing up for the start of another great season.
“Our numbers are good, obviously down in a couple of areas but I think that’s just because of the economy. But we’re going to keep moving forward,” said LMHA President Paul Pearson.
Pearson said the Association has done what they can to try and keep their fees as low as possible this year, but with the current renovations at the new Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex and the Can Pak Arenas, that has been difficult.
“We’ve done some different things regarding sponsorships and stuff like that because of not being able to hang stuff in the area.”
He added he doesn’t think the renovations will interfere with any of Lacombe Minor Hockey’s operations in the early part of the season.
“It shouldn’t be too, too bad. The dressing rooms will be open, it’s just a matter of difficulty for the earlier groups because the guys are doing the construction until 5 p.m. But the City has been really good at keeping us informed as to what’s going on and I think we’re in a position now to move forward.”
In addition to the changes around the arena, the new season will also bring about a switch to a new league for the LMHA.
After a number of years competing in the North Central Minor Hockey League the Association will be joining the Central Alberta Hockey League (CAHL).
“There’s a lot to it, but it will be better for our kids with cheering and playing more games against kids in their division and skill level and stuff like that,” Pearson said.
The move will mean Lacombe’s minor hockey teams will be playing in the same league as many of the other minor hockey associations in the area, such as Red Deer, Blackfalds and Stettler.
“We’ll probably play a lot of the same teams as we have in the past, just a little more structure to the league,” Pearson said.
The Central Alberta Selects AA teams, who will still play in the South Central Alberta Hockey League, kicked off their regular season last week with the Bantam team picking up a pair of victories, winning 4-1 over Olds on Friday and 6-1 over Red Deer Ramada on Sunday. The Peewee Selects put up a valiant effort but weren’t able to overcome Red Deer Motors as they fell 8-6 in Red Deer on Sunday.
The Midget Selects are gearing up to open their season on Oct. 1st at the new Sportsplex. Puck drop on that one is at 8:15 p.m. The majority of teams will get rolling after Oct. 1st.