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U13 Blazers score Team of Year

By November 16, 2022No Comments
After winning the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup in April, the Lloydminster U13 Blazers has been named Hockey Alberta’s Team of the Year. File Photo

 

Last year’s Lloydminster Female U13 Blazers have some celebrating to do after being named Hockey Alberta’s 2021-22 Team of the Year.

The unexpected news came to the surprise and delight of players and coaching staff last Thursday morning, leaving them shocked.

“I’m not sure how many hundreds of teams there are in the province, but for our girls’ team from this small community to be recognized for this accomplishment, I think is pretty special,” said Justin Tindall, who coached the team last season.

Each year, the Hockey Alberta awards program recognizes the hard work of groups and individuals in the game of hockey. Awards are given out for Volunteer of the Year, Coach of the Year, Player of the Year, Official of the Year, Team of the Year, and Minor Hockey Association of the Year.

The Blazers were the winners of the 2022 Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup in April for their plan to make the future Lloydminster Place event centre more accessible. 

The team also hosted a Try Para Hockey event to raise awareness about the sport and the importance of ensuring arenas across the province are accessible for individuals with different kinds of disabilities. 

Winning the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup, the Lloydminster Blazers were given the opportunity to donate $100,000 to a charity of their choice, Inclusion Lloydminster – a charity that promotes and improves the quality of life for persons with disabilities.

“When we started the Good Deeds Cup process we weren’t really sure what it would amount to, and the snowball effect was huge,” said Tindall. 

“We saw how important an evening with the sledge hockey event we hosted was. We saw the feedback online, we saw the support we were getting from families across the country, and I think that really resonated.”

Speaking to the Good Deeds Cup experience, Tindall said it presented players with a unique opportunity to do something special for the community.

“This, of course, led to the $100,000 coming back into the community for Lloydminster Place,” said Tindall.

“The girls might not still be playing on the same team as last year, but this is one of those things that will remind us of the team we had, the hard work they put in, and the fantastic thing they were able to do for the community, for sledge hockey groups across the country, and groups of all ages.”

Centre Ava Hufnagel is still soaking in last April’s excitement and was left rather speechless when she found out her team had won the award.

“I was extremely surprised,” said Hufnagel. 

“I didn’t think all that hard work we did would come out to that. We did a lot of work, but we didn’t do it for the recognition.”

Hufnagel also explained how being a part of this experience showed her the sky is the limit when it comes to girls’ hockey.

Forward Rose Tindall explained the entire Good Deeds Cup experience is one she won’t soon forget and echoed Hufnagel in regards to the award being a surprise.

“I definitely wasn’t expecting it,” she said. 

“But I was also very grateful and happy; it was pretty crazy.”

For Rose, the biggest takeaway from the entire experience was the importance of inclusivity.

“Never leaving people out is so important,” she said. “When we got together as a team, we accomplished a lot, and I’ll never forget that.”