Flin Flon’s Xtreme Hockey School is heading into its 20th edition with a bang, teaching a new crop of northern hockey players the skills of the game.
This year, the camp will be split into two segments.
“Typically, we’re the third week of August. This year, we’re running the second week. The hockey school and then specialty clinics are split up at different times. Normally, they just kind of run into each other,” said camp organizer Mike Reagan.
First, the junior, intermediate, skills development and conditioning camps will be held from August 12-16. The camps will be open to ages six to nine, 10-13, 12-15 and 14 and up, respectively. The second portion of the camp, the specialty clinics, will take place from August 26-28. The camps include power skating, shooting and stickhandling and body checking.
“The clinics are always really good because we have a large variety of guys coming out,” Reagan said.
As the head coach and general manager of the Flin Flon Bombers, Reagan typically brings players from the team’s roster to the camp to help instruct. That trend will continue this year, with seven current Bomber players – forwards Matt Flodell, Billy Klymchuk, Shayde Peterson and Reid Robertson and defenders Mason Martin, Ryder Richmond and Jaxon White – coming north to help out. Also joining the staff this year are a number of accomplished local players.
WHL bantam draft pick Justin Lies will join as an instructor, as well as current Norman Northstar defender Jordan Pfoh, Saskatchewan midget AAA player Owen Slugoski and Northstar goalie and instructor Rylan Potkonjak.
“I’ve had every one of them be in the hockey school. So just one more reason to feel old, I guess,” joked Reagan.“
We’re pretty proud of that and being able to be around here for that long,”
Looking back on the school’s history, Reagan said the approach has changed little from its infancy.
“I think our focus has always been the same. I think the focus is on the kids having fun and I think that’s the most important thing. I mean, why are you playing a sport if you don’t enjoy it, right? We want to make sure that the kids are having fun, that they’re in a safe environment and learning the skills necessary to play the game.”