Squad looking for gold after bronze finish last year
When Team Saskatchewan heads west at the end of the month, they will be looking for a medal.
© Katie Brickman
Cohen Yano of the Regina Pat Canadians looks for the rebound before Moose Jaw Generals goaltender, Colby Entz can during Sask. Midget AAA Hockey League action on Saturday afternoon at the Co-Operators Arena in Regina. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
After winning the bronze medal last year at the Western Canada Under-16 Hockey Challenge, the goal will not only be to make it to the gold medal game, but come away with the top prize.
“We are going into it wanting to win gold. We have heard that Alberta is going to be really strong, but we are just going to take it one game at a time and go from there. We are definitely looking for gold for Saskatchewan,” said Trevor Weisgerber, assistant coach for Team Sask.
The Saskatchewan Hockey Association announced the roster last Friday and four Moose Jaw Generals made the team — goaltender Colby Entz from Churchbridge, defenceman Dawson Davidson from Moosomin, forwards Jared Dmytriw from Craven and Moose Jaw’s Branden Klatt.
“It feels great. I got the call from Travis (Harrington). It was shocking, for sure. I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to make it, so it was exciting,” said Entz. “Top 40, I didn’t do great, but top 26, I did a lot better.”
Harrington is the goaltending coach for the team and Davison got his call from Weisgerber.
“It felt good. I really don’t have any words for it,” said Davidson. “Trevor called me and he just said that I had a good top 40 and good top 26. He said that I was playing well and just need to use my skill.”
The selection process for the team is completed through the Sask First Program of Excellence (POE) each season. The U16 process began in February 2013 with players competing for a roster spot on their designated zone team, which moves onto the Sask First Zone tournament. From there, the top 42 players were chosen to attend the summer camp at Notre Dame College in Wilcox. The top 26 from that camp attended a September camp in Wilcox where the final cuts were made.
“For the most part, a lot of us come in and we haven’t seen these kids play before. We have some information once they get to the top 40, but once they get to evaluation tryouts in the summer, it is all how they play from there on out,” explained Weisgerber. “We pick the team accordingly. There are no pre-conceived notions on any of those kids. It is how they played during the summer camp and throughout the couple exhibition games.”
Entz will battle Declan Hobbs from Saskatoon for the goaltending job, but he earned his spot will a solid camp.
“We had a good battle with goaltending and they all had good camps. He (Entz) played well and we got two solid goaltenders going into the tournament,” said Weisgerber.
Davidson at 5’10, 145 pounds is the smallest defencemen on the roster, but that didn’t deter the coaching staff from picking him.
“He is very mobile, moves the puck well and he is pretty offensive for the power play,” said Weisgerber. “Defensively, he is very defensive-minded and very good in his own end. He makes a good first pass, so that is all we can ask for in a d-man.”
As for Dmytriw and Klatt, both will be looked upon to use their size while at the tournament.
“Both are going to be solid players for us on the PK and do what they do best — working down low and making things happen by creating stuff like that,” stated Weisgerber. “We will use these guys in all situations. We are looking for these guys to have a big tournament for us.”
The team will meet in Regina on Oct. 28 for practices before heading to Calgary on Oct. 30. The tournament runs from Oct. 31st to Nov. 3.
“It is going to be a high end tournament all around,” said Davison.
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