Play with Pros hockey event returns Saturday

Sports

It’s back.

Play with the Pros will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.

Organizer Jon Sim says it’s a chance to give back to the game and add a different dimension to hockey for the youngsters who participate.

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The event help with to local minor hockey.

Besides Sim, local players from university and university level hockey will be taking part.

Sim played for a number of NHL teams, while Colin White from the New Jersey Devils and San Jose Sharks is also playing.

Others include Dave MacIntyre, who played university and pro hockey, as well as major junior player Lane Cormier and Team Canada female roster member Blayre Turnbull.

Brad Marchand of the NHL’s Boston Bruins, Andrew MacDonald of the Philadelphia Flyers and Andrew Bodnarchuck of the Colorado Avalanche complete the cast.

“This is the 10th year,” Sim says. “It’s different and we still enjoy it. When we can raise money to give back to the game, that’s the best thing for me.”

Something different will occur this year. The ice surface will be cut in half to allow for more participants with two games of three-on-3 hockey at once.

“We hope to get 40 to 50 kids and then let them go out and have some fun,” Sim said.

Sim has been busy with hockey this summer. A two-week goalie school ended last Friday with about 20 goalies attending.

“There are a lot of up-and-coming goalies, which is really good,” he said. “We had a three-day camp each week last year and five days a week this year. We had a lot of good responses.”

Sim said he has a good feeling about local hockey and the future success of teams in various divisions.

He’s involved with the WearWell Major Bantams, whose pre-season starts soon and includes an exhibition tournament from Aug. 26 to 28  in Antigonish and an exhibition game to be arranged.

“We’ll be better in Major Bantam,” he said. “Our Peewee AAA team (which Sim coaches) is one of the top teams in the province and the atoms will be stronger. Hockey’s getting stronger in Pictou County.”

Sim is also working this week with Cormier and fellow major junior draftees Jake Martin and Kevin Mason to help prepare them for the 2016-17 season.


Coaches conduct Atlantic Hockey Group goaltending school that ended on Friday after two weeks at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. (Goodwin photo)

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