Congratulations to Caley Bjork and Brandon McClarty for Making the Zone 1 Midget Boys hockey team. Caley is the son of Kelly and Juanita Bjork of Radville and Brandon is the son of Lorne and Leila McClarty of Ceylon. Congratulations also to Mady Pirio daughter of Marc and Anita Pirio of Radville for making the Zone 1 midget Girls team.
Saskatchewan is split into 9 zones for sports. In January the boys went to Zone 1 Midget tryouts along with 80 other male hockey players competing for 20 spots available. Caley was chosen as a defensive player and Brandon as a Center man. Their team consisted of players from the following communities; Estevan, Milestone, Weyburn, Carnduff, Radville, Ceylon, Whitewood and Carlyle. This made Team South East, who went on to compete at the Saskatchewan Winter Games held at Moose Jaw February 14th to 21st.
Men's hockey was split into 2 pools. Pool A consisted of Lakeland, Parkland Valley, Prairie Central and Rivers West. Pool B consisted of South East, South West, Saskatoon, Regina and Northern.
The first day saw SE play SW-with SE coming out on top with the win. The 2nd day SE play Saskatoon with a very close game and ended in a 3-3 tie. Later, that day SE played North ending with a huge victory for SE (13-2). The third day of competition saw SE play Regina with a very physical game, but SE was too much for Regina and SE won again (10-5). SE would go into the Gold Medal game with 3 wins and 1 tie with the most points of the competition. SE would come up against the first place team in Pool A which was team Parkland Valley. SE came out very strong and confident with Caley Bjork rushing end to end and sniping the first goal of the game. SE would lead the game with a 3-0 score, but Parkland was there to win and started to pressure SE and answered back to make the game 4-1 going into the third period. The goalies kept them in the game with some amazing saves and SE would Win Gold with A 4-3 score! It was a fast paced, physical and exciting game!
It was a proud moment to watch our young hockey players participate in the Saskatchewan Winter Games. It was great for our community to have our young athletes experience and partake in such an elite event. We appreciate all the coaches, parents, family and friends that have supported and made it possible for our local athletes to achieve their goals, Thanks!
The Winter Games are held at the same time the Olympics are held and are to follow a mini Olympic experience with opening ceremonies, entertainment, torch relay, athlete's village and closing Ceremonies. It was a once in a life time event for Caley and Brandon as it follows the Olympic schedule and will not be held again until 2014. I know that we have other locally talented hockey players in our area and I hope that in the future they will not be afraid to try something new and try out if given the opportunity. It was an awesome experience.