June 16th, 2024

U18 AAA Hurricanes players excited for NAHC opportunity


By Lethbridge Herald on December 22, 2022.

From left, Carter Cunningham, Rhyle Weaselhead and Dayton Tailfeathers earned spots on the Team Alberta U18 team that will be heading to the National Aboriginal Championships next spring in Winnipeg.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

While there is plenty of hockey season left, but for three Lethbridge Hurricanes U18 AAA players their seasons will be prolonged into the spring time thanks to an incredible opportunity on a national scale.

Carter Cunningham, Rhyle Weaselhead and Dayton Tailfeathers will be representing the Team Alberta U18 squad at the 2023 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Winnipeg next May.

The players had to go through a tryout weekend in Red Deer with games that  involved over  100 players at the end of September and players were then selected to go to a top 40 game.

“It was a good experience getting to play with other kids across the province,” said Weaselhead.

His initial feeling was excitement when he found out he made the roster.

“Just really proud of myself that I’ll be doing this and representing the Blood Tribe,” said Weaselhead.

He agreed he is being a role model for fellow indigenous kids in the future who could succeed in sports.

“It’s  good knowing that younger kids will have a chance to look in (to) the future and we’ll just be role models for them, I guess. It’s just good knowing that I’m a role model for the younger generation.”

Tailfeathers is looking forward to meeting new people and playing with his other teammates from his current team.

“It’s going to be fun, knowing that they’ll be there with me, said Tailfeathers.

“I’ll have people I know and people I have great chemistry with.”

“It’s truly an honour to be recognized for such a high-paced tournament,” said Cunningham.

“(To) make it that far in a try out just to find out that you made the team, it’s truly an honour to represent your province.”

Cunningham said it’s just good to see how many high skilled indigenous players there are in Alberta.

“It is good for them to all come together, be able to build up some chemistry at (National Aboriginal Hockey Championships ) and the provincials,” said Cunningham.

“Just get a pre-tournament chemistry (and) build up to the big tournament that we have coming.”

“It’s always nice when people get recognized,” said U18AAA head coach Sean Gillam.

“Those three guys are a huge part of our team. It’s my first year coaching the three of them and I’m still getting to know them a little bit and learn exactly what kind of players they are. But you know what, they come to the rink with a smile on their face and they work hard. And they give you what they’ve got most nights. It’s a positive thing for our team.”

The team will be heading a native provincials tournament a month before the NAHC.

The NAHC will be from May 7-13 in Winnipeg.

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