Grand Forks Arena was an active place last Saturday, with the Grand Forks Atom 2 house team tying against Kaslo 5-5.
Atom 2 house team head coach Craig MacLellan noted the team played against Kaslo last week and beat them 14-2.
“I’m not sure if the kids took it for granted that we would beat them like last weekend,” he said. “I thought it was a great game. At times our kids played really, really hard and at times we sat back and let Kaslo decide how we would play.”
Overall, there were several players who had really strong games, stated MacLellan.
He also added there are no overtime periods in the league unless it is during the playoffs.
“We are a small team: we only have 11 players – 10 players and a goalie,” he said. “Quick shifts are really important for our team. If we stay out there too long, they’ll get too tired and come the third period when it’s stop time and it’s a long period, sometimes we can run out of juice. So our goal is to get better with each game and to stay strong for the full 60 minutes and not burn out too early.”
There are two co-ed Grand Forks Atom 2 house teams for children nine to 10 years old.
“In the West Kootenay’s there is an Atom House and Atom A pool,” explained MacLellan. “Last year they decided to split the Atoms into two pools, an A team or a B (house) team. This year in Grand Forks we didn’t feel we had the caliber of an A team just yet so we looked at the number of kids we had and split them into two B teams so we’re playing in the house division.”
MacLellan pointed out both house teams in Grand Forks have played against each other since they are in the same pool
“We’re trying to get the kids to learn that hockey is a team game,” he concluded. “It’s really hard to beat five other kids plus the goalie on the other team if you do everything by yourself. We try to incorporate each of the kids and encourage them to work as a team – when that happens, it will be a very successful game.”
Grand Forks will be hosting playoff games in February, either to the top six Atom A teams or top six Atom B teams. The Grand Forks Atom B team will be playing a tournament in Nelson next weekend. In related news, the Grand Forks Bantam Rep Bruins beat Cranbrook 22-1.