June 13th, 2024

LMHA wraps up a sucessful season

By Lethbridge Herald on March 31, 2022.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

Lethbridge Minor Hockey Association wrapped up what was a successful season for many teams.

“When you put it up against a previous year, it was a success,” said Keith Hitchcock, LMHA general manager.

“We were basically at 50 per cent  the year before. We kind of just  towards the end ,we went through the motions to get them on to the ice a little bit here by the end, but weren’t playing any games or anything like that. This year our goal was to finish the year and we did. It got a little shaky at the end of January there when the Omicron came in. We did lose a couple games and have a few outbreaks on teams — small numbers — but nothing major that was going to break us down or shut us down.”

LMHA’s numbers were down eight to 10 per cent, which was roughly 100 players from the usual 1,100.

“It was all at the younger ages, most of it, which at that time, when  registration  last year would have been the ages of the kids that weren’t able to get vaccinated — the 12 and unders,” said Hitchcock.

“Now that changed as the year went by. But it still didn’t add too many to the numbers.  But we’re comfortable that some of it will come back and we’ve got enough programs that we run through the year as development programs that we think will be able to bring back those numbers fairly quickly.”

He says  LMHA’s goal this year was to maintain the statuses of trying to make it through the year.

Hitchcock said LMHA went a little slower out of the gate.

“We followed the rules of AHS right from the start — the masks, the REP program, things like that,” he said.

“We were slow out of the gate on some of our tournaments, that people come here for our tournaments. We ran 10 tournaments; we normally run about 12 to 14. We kind of ran one a month so there wasn’t the large crowds in here.”

LMHA managed to run all of its developmental programs including the Little Canes program, Become an Olympian program for young female players and  the First Shift Program.

“They were smaller numbers due to some restrictions and due to the fact that we didn’t get the registrations,” said Hitchcock.

The five power skating programs and development goaltending were also ran.

LMHA saw some league champions and their elite teams made the playoffs.

The U18 AAA lost out in the second round to the Calgary Buffaloes,

Hitchcock said the U16AAA had a good upswing year development year.

  The U18 AAs made it to the semi-final in the South Division  tournament.

Hitchcock says the U13AA group struggled a little bit with depth wise.

Hitchcock says the U15AA were a young team, but were very competitive by the end.

As for the female side, the U15AA team had their best year ever, says Hitchcock.

The U11 Red team beat Olds for a league championship a couple of weeks ago.

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