Months late, youth hockey returns to the ice

Sports

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Months after their seasons were scheduled to start, youth hockey teams are finally hitting the ice again.

This was set to be the first season for the 12-13 year old boys on the 3D Hockey team sponsored by Super Chexx, and after finally starting their season in the middle of July, they’re just happy to be able to play.

“We’re pumped up, I’m getting chills just thinking about it,” 3D Hockey CEO Cory Mickey said, “we’re all about motivation and looking ahead. Everything’s the next play, things in life happen, things on the ice happen, so you try to find a way to maneuver it and get through it and stay positive. We want to give these kids hope, it’s all about hope. If you can offer that, especially as a mentor, they can do anything they want with their life, and that’s what it’s all about.”

With just five practices under their belts as a new team, the players have taken the ice by storm and are focusing their attention on getting better as hockey players through the skills training brought on by 3D Hockey.

“They’re quickly becoming friends, a lot of them were strangers when we first started, but they’re definitely getting to know each other, and they want to play some games now. Unfortunately we have to wait and see what happens,” manager and coach Pete Montana said.

“They love it, they’re like little baboons. They love getting out of the house, honestly,” Mickey said. “It’s been definitely a big drag on their development process as young men, being out of school, not as many activities, and then all the regulations, so we try to just make sure we focus on what we can do. What can we do right now, how can we look ahead, versus all the outside noise.”

Some of the outside noise, however, comes with the fact that these kids still haven’t gotten to play a game yet.

“You do all this work to put something in place then it changes on you due to the pandemic,” Montana said. “It was supposed to begin in April, and we were supposed to be done by August, and now we didn’t get started until July and we’re going to cram everything all in. We could carry all the way until September if tournaments are to start opening back up. We had tournaments scheduled to be played in Canada, now we can’t go over there. Some of the tournament companies that we paid went belly up and we had to chase money in creative ways to try and get it back, so it’s been a learning experience and a nightmare, but for the most part it’s been a lot of fun.”

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