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Hockey on wheels at East St. Paul Arena

Posted: April 9, 2018

Hockey on wheels at East St. Paul Arena

Roller hockey leagues start April 10 at the East St. Paul Arena.

There's an exciting new sport rolling into East St. Paul Arena this spring and summer, and it's got all kinds of benefits for all kinds of players.

The Central Canadian Roller Hockey League will be played out of the arena from April 10 to June 30 and Michael Hunt, Director of Operations for the CCRH, says the game is "ridiculously fun," and it's affordable.

"The biggest thing is it's cost effective," Hunt says, noting spring ice hockey programs can be expensive, running as high as $6,000.

"For six grand your kid can play in my roller hockey program for 10 years and get more games and get more out of it than that spring hockey will ever do."

Roller hockey is played 4-on-4 and Hunt says the format, which includes no icing and no off sides, will teach kids skills that will improve their game, whether it's on wheels or on ice.

"Too many times in ice hockey you get the puck and you dump it in and have to go chase it.  (Roller hockey is) like NHL overtime, it's different than the regular NHL game - they never give up possession, they always are passing it amongst themselves, they don't take bad angle shots, its the same thing in roller hockey," Hunt said.

"It makes the kids touch the puck more, it makes them hold the puck more.  It allows them to be creative."

Hunt played for Team Canada in roller hockey eight times and is a six-time coach as well as a two time Men's Division 1 International Ice Hockey Federation World Champion.  He's also the Director of Operations for The Hockey Barn training facility.

Hunt says kids who come out and play roller hockey fall in love with the game.  He said he introduced 12 kids at The Hockey Barn to roller hockey recently, and all 12 immediately signed up for the summer league.

On top of that, Hunt says there are about 55 NHL players, including new Winnipeg Jet Paul Stastny, who have either played or are still playing roller hockey.

The CCRH league has five youth divisions - 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U and 17U, along with adult men's and women's divisions.  It's an 18-game season with youth games played Thursday and Friday nights.  Adult games are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday nights, all at East St. Paul Arena.

For more information visit ccrh.ca, email huntsy15@live.com or call (204) 807-1551.


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