On the morning of Friday, March 1 at 10:30 a.m., the referee dropped the puck and the eighth annual EMCS teacher vs. student hockey game was underway, with the entire school in attendance.
This annual game is a part of the Hockey Academy program at the Edward Milne community school, a program which has been in existence for nine years now.
According to their web page at the EMCS website, the “aim of the Academy is to enhance personal skill development through added ice time with quality mentorship and instruction in a safe, fun and enjoyable learning environment. Small group instruction as well as individual attention and ideal ice times help in furthering the development and leadership potential of each participant.”
The Academy Hockey program is designed to develop individual skills, as EMCS does not have a school hockey team. According to Mark Barrie, the program’s coach, “we have a working relationship with minor hockey as well as being a licensed Hockey Canada Skills Academy. Through our partnership with Hockey Canada we are provided coaches training from the very best coaches throughout Canada as well as physical resources and curriculum support.”
The program is well received by the students. “Students tend to enjoy the program because it usually fits with a passion they have for hockey, says Barrie.”
While the criteria for admission into the program is not based on hockey skills, students do need to qualify through a screening process to attend the academy, to ensure suitability. They are advised to see a school counsellor for more information. Students can register for a single semester (Sept. to Jan.) or for the full year option (Sept. to May).
The talent it nurtures is apparent. In their recently-held banquet awards, EMCS recognized a number of their academy students:
Most Dedicated: Jonah Philip, Charlie Richardson, Zach Mayo, and Josh Dueck.
Most Improved: Amy Hashemi and Tryce Barrault.
Top Leadership: Jordan Brooks, Nick Pfeifer and Tyler Sutherland.
88 Fitness Club: Erica Pierce, Jack Kendall, Jaden Lawerence, Jonah Phillip, Abraham Lamontagne, Ryan Seeburger and Nick Pfeifer.
On Friday, the arena was jam-packed, and the crowd roared mostly when the students scored a goal on the teachers. This might have something to do with the fact that the students in the bleachers out-numbered the teachers.
In the end, the better team won: the students bested their teachers with a score of 14 to 10.
“The teachers are now somewhat humbled; as you saw, we were definitely up against a very talented team of students,” said Barrie.