While it’s still unconfirmed if the Muskie boys’ hockey team will be on the ice this winter, the girls sure will be.
Tryouts for the inaugural Muskie girls’ team will begin next Monday and run until Thursday.
Organizer Amy Marchuk said almost 40 girls showed up for an information meeting last Wednesday at the high school.
“There was about 34 girls at the meeting and about six of them said they had friends who couldn’t make the meeting,” she noted.
While she was pleased with the turnout, Marchuk admitted it doesn’t mean they will all try out for the team.
“I didn’t expect that many girls to show up,” she said. “I hope they all tryout but some people only came to get information.”
Coach Greg Madill said he got involved with the girls’ hockey team because Mike Allison asked him to help given the decision by teachers not to volunteer for extra-curricular activities this year stemming from their dispute with the provincial government over Bill 74.
“It wouldn’t have [went ahead] if we [Mark Lafleur, Jim McMahon, and I] wouldn’t have stepped forward,” admitted Madill. “I felt like I didn’t have any other choice [but to help out].
“It is pretty exciting for me. I got excited about learning how to coach,” he added. “I really didn’t have any intention of getting into it this deep.”
Madill also said he hopes there’s a good turnout for the tryouts and that they go well.
“The last I heard there was about 28 girls coming to the tryouts . . . 40 is even better,” he enthused. “It is almost scary.”
Madill hopes he can teach the girls a little bit about being a team and being on a team. “Hopefully, as a team we can start a tradition,” he added.
Marchuk stressed the girls must show up for tryouts in full hockey gear.
CSA-approved helmets with a mask and BNQ-approved throat protectors are mandatory, and only hockey skates will be allowed (no figure skates).
There will be a $20 non-refundable tryout fee, which will be used to pay for the ice time.
Tryouts will be held Oct. 2 from 4-5:15 p.m. in the “Ice for Kids” arena, and again Oct. 3 from 3:30-4:45 p.m. and Oct. 4-5 from 4-5:15 p.m. in the “52 Canadians” arena.
The Muskies plan to play against teams from Kenora, Dryden, Winnipeg, International Falls, Bemidji, and maybe Red Lake.