PO Box 35057
963 Henderson Hwy
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R2K 2M3

River East House League Hockey

2019-20 House League Year End Report

Every season we begin our House League program with the Development Camp/Rust Buster. This 6 week program teaches our young players stick handling, passing and more importantly skating. Many of them are first time skaters. Again, many thanks to Tim Juer and his crew of young instructors who seem to bond with the young skaters and get them to improve at every session they attend. As per usual many parents have given the program high praise. Also, many thanks to Nancy Plustwa/East St. Paul Community Club and Breanne Maines for organizing and providing the ice.

Our 6 and Under program participated in the annual Hockey Winnipeg/Hockey Manitoba Face-Off event, which was held in Transcona. All teams had a wonderful time on the ice as well as enjoying some free treats off the ice. This would not have been possible without the organization of Mike Wakefield/House League Director and his Transcona Hockey Minor crew. Also, thanks to Nolan Shortridge for spending time on the ice with the coaches and teams and providing his on ice mentorship. Next year, will be held by us/River East Minor Hockey and will be scheduled at an earlier date just before the start of the hockey season.

For the first time, all House League teams ( 6 and Under and Novice) participated in the Annual Gateway Community Club Hockey Tournament, as part of the end of season regular season games. From the feedbacks, all players enjoyed the activities on and off the ice in a carnival like atmosphere.

This year with the direction and mentorship of Nolan, he initiated mandatory development practice sessions with all of the 6 and Under teams. It assisted in ensuring that the development of our young skaters remains consistent to what Hockey Canada and Hockey Manitoba was promoting. Unfortunately, we were only able to provide these practice sessions in the first half of the season due to scheduling conflicts due to the Terry Sawchuk Arena’s unforeseen closure. We will try to expand this to the second half of the season for the upcoming year.

Nolan was also instrumental in bringing in a very accomplished and respected development instructor, Bob Caldwell who is with Hockey Manitoba. Bob has been involved within the international, national and provincial programs. He brought his vast experience to our skating camp for all our House League coaches, which was held at Gateway Arena early in the season. Other coaches from other areas also joined our event – which shows the attractiveness of Bob’s camps. Some of the feedbacks included - all coaches enjoyed, learned a lot and found that their skating skills needed some improvement. Hockey Manitoba and Bob were ecstatic with the packed attendance. The accreditation was also a bonus for those who attended. This was definitely a highly successful, well attended and worthwhile event for River East Minor Hockey.

This will be an ongoing theme for the upcoming year and beyond. Our coaches must be trained along with players. Providing experienced and knowledgeable coaches for our teams, will in turn promote the development of our young players and solidify our hockey program.

As you can see many hands have assisted in making these events and program possible. I would first like to thank the tireless energy of the coaches, assistant coaches and managers from each team in providing a fun and rewarding season for our young players and an enjoyable time for the parents.

I would also like to thank the executive committee and the hockey convenors from each area for their commitment in serving the families of this association. A special thank-you goes to the outgoing executive members. Their experience and knowledge will be missed. I welcome the incoming members who will provide an injection of new perspectives to the executive.

Special thank-you’s go to Nancy Plustwa, Sherri Quesnel and Jernej Anderlic, whose availability and patience in answering my many enquiries have made the above events possible. At this time I’m not sure how next season will look like in the midst of this pandemic, but like every facet of society, we will learn to adapt to our new “normal.” 

Have a great summer, enjoy the outdoors and stay safe.

John Dela Cruz
Vice President House League


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