Hockey season has officially kicked off for every minor hockey team as the Novice Falcons hosted their first game against the Kaslo Winter Hawks on Dec. 11 at the Nakusp & District Sports complex.
Novice games are a little different than the games typically seen at Bantam, Peewee, and Midget games.
Only half the ice is used during a Novice game. This is known as cross-ice hockey. The lineup during the game changes every two minutes as well.
“They say the full benefits are the kids all get to touch the puck a little more, they all get to shoot the puck a little more, and it keeps them all a little more interested,” said head coach Zac Wethal. “That was my first crack at it, and I have to say I agree.”
Another aspect that’s different about Novice games is the timing. Unlike other levels in minor hockey, only two periods are played and the final five to ten minutes of the game are used to practise shooting at the net.
Part of the reason the games are shorter depends on how much ice time the teams have. Also, shorter time keeps the kids interested in the game.
“They like to play games and stuff like that, not necessarily scrimmages or an actual hockey game,” said Wethal. “I think if we had tried to go another 20 they might have gotten a little bored.”
The day’s game almost hit a snafu of sorts when members of the Winter Hawks couldn’t make it because of a musical recital, but coaches decided to allow members of the Falcons to take over for their missing counterparts.
One of those players was Noah Wethal.
Noah has been playing hockey for three years, and became interested in the game after watching his father play. He thought the day’s game was awesome.
“I got to be on the other team, and I’ve never gotten to be on another team,” he said. “It was really good.”
Though the game ended with the Winter Hawks winning 10-2, it was clear that everyone had a great time.
While this was the first time the teams faced each other, it will not be the last.