It’s Good to be Back
This season was a big success for SEMI Hockey, as we got back to close to regular programming across the Lower Mainland.
Yes, there were challenges, COVID waves, masking and vaccine regulations, spectator restrictions, flooded highways, and tournament cancellations. A huge thank you to our entire membership and especially our volunteers for their ability to adapt and overcome these speedbumps. All in all, the impact of COVID on the player experience was much improved over the previous season.
Regular operations meant a full return to the SEMI Hockey emphasis on skill development at the younger age groups. The U6/U7 program provided a fun and fundamental approach to introducing players to the game. Topher Plonka led the professional instruction and provided mentorship to our coaches as well. Everyone pulled together to execute the Winter Classic Jamboree to ensure that the kids had a fun game experience.
The U8/U9 programs continued to find a balance between exceptional skill development, and game play and fun. SK Hockey once again led the weekly skill sessions, and we saw incredible growth in players ability. Our young goalies were able to attend our free goalie clinics on the weekend, and we saw good attendance there, but we could always use a few more goalies in the pipeline. After a year away, we were able to host our March Madness Tournament to close out the season, a terrific event led by some very dedicated volunteers.
The Rep programs had numerous success stories this season as we returned to competitive game play. Clearly the investment in skill development through the Initiation years is paying off in the high number of talented players that we have relative to other associations. This depth of talent allowed us to offer 15 rep teams this year, 4 in U11, 5 in U13, 3 in U15 and 3 in U18. Nine of those teams had non-parent professional coaching staffs. No other lower mainland associations matched SEMI’s level of success.
- U11 A1 team – PCAHA Playoff Champions (repeat from 2020)
- U13 A1 team – PCAHA Regular season champion, BC Provincial Champion (repeat from 2019)
- U13 A4 team – PCAHA Regular season Champion. PCAHA Playoff Finalist
- U13 A2 team – PCAHA Playoff Finalist (repeat from 2020)
- U15 A1 team – PCAHA regular season champion, PCAHA Playoff Champion, (repeat from 2020) BC Hockey Provincial Bronze Medal
In addition, the U13 A1 team is scheduled to attend the 2022 Quebec International Pee Wee Tournament which has been rescheduled to a May date this year.
Several our C Hockey programs were able to claim PCAHA banners in regular season and playoffs. In addition, we had a handful of teams that managed to squeeze in some tournament victories. We look forward to teams being able to have a full calendar of tournaments again soon. In addition to regular team programming, we were able to offer Prospects programs for U11 and U13 players to enhance their on ice development. We did deal with a shortage of goalies in some division, which required some creativity and patience by teams. We are working on several initiatives to address this moving forward.
We were able to offer a First Shift program which allowed us to provide an intro to hockey for 35 local kids, providing equipment and six sessions of on ice development.
Our partnership with Earl Marriott Secondary continues, now entering its 7th year, and encompassing two classes, for close to 60 students who receive daily hockey training from February to June.
The SEMI Hockey summer hockey school was a huge success with close to every session sold out. Led by SK Hockey we provided pre-season instructional programs and scrimmages on local ice for every age group.
This season we hosted a series of coach education seminars, touching on a variety of coaching topics, and included video clips and drills. In addition, we were able to offer all coaches access to a coaching software tool, that included practice plans, drills and videos applicable to the various age groups.
We will be releasing our applications shortly for our graduating player scholarships, last season we were honoured to provide 12 graduating student-athletes with assistance for their post-secondary education. Additionally, Elleka Jope and Justin Grant were recipients of PCAHA Scholarships.
New this season as a part of our commitment to player health and safety we introduced Mental Health Awareness week Jan 10-17. We highlighted resources for players and coaches touching on anxiety, mental wellness, and self care. Our U18 division players were provide a free interactive webinar centered around mental wellness selfcare led by the Crisis Centre of BC. We hope to continue and expand these offerings in the future.
We look forward to a busy off-season, as we refresh our look, with a refreshed brand. Stay tuned for some jersey sneak peaks and launch of our new look this Spring. We look forward to some post-COVID initiatives, that focuses on expanding community connections, and welcome everyone back to the rink and look to grow our impact.