Wednesday, 10 August 2011 14:32

Wildcats head coach to try new techniques

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By Brad Brown — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

When the Swift Current Wildcats return to the ice this season they’ll still be a midget AAA hockey team on paper. In practice though they’ll probably look more like a top-tier major junior team. Maybe even world champions.



Wildcats head coach Terry Pavely attended a coaching clinic last month in Kamloops, and was particularly impressed by Vancouver Giants head coach Don Hay’s presentation and demonstration sessions on running a practice.

Naturally he’s looking forward to testing some of Hay’s theories this season in Swift Current. It’s a little like learning physics from Einstein himself — Hay has three WHL titles, three Memorial Cups, and a world junior hockey championship at the top of his coaching resumé.

“You’ll really see a difference with us making sure we compete early on in practice,” said Pavely. “It’s an old habit to do three or four warm-up drills then have the competitive stuff at the end. But watching and listening to Don Hay talk about making sure you’ve set the tempo and pace right at the beginning of the practice, I think sometimes we spend too much time warming up and then the players get complacent.”

If the quality of the conference has anything to do with setting the pace for the Wildcats’ 2011-12 season, Pavely would be quite happy.

Other presenters included Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz, Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Perry Pearn, Team Canada women’s hockey head coach Ryan Walter, and Own the Podium technical director John Misley.


They covered topics such as goaltender development, concussions, building an offensive hockey team, fitness and training for high-performance athletes, and the foundations of a successful hockey program.

“Of all the coaching seminars and conferences I’ve been to, it’s been the best one,” said Pavely. “It was
nice to learn some new things, but I also found it reaffirming to see that they do a lot of the same things we do with our program with the midget AAA girls in Swift Current … I’ve seen Mike Babcock and Dave King at other symposiums in Saskatchewan, but just felt that this one really touched all the bases.”

The Wildcats hope to revisit some past glory in the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League this year after finishing seventh last season — the first time in their five-year history placing outside the top three.

A foursome of Wildcats forwards — Carley Bertram, Jill Kennedy, Karrah Newkirk, and Delaine Feil — and goalie Caitlyn Janzen recently attended the Top 80 camp for Saskatchewan’s Under-18 provincial team.

Those five players, along with other returning veterans including Kayla Ogilvie and Tenille Gering, are expected to form the core leadership group of a team Pavely hopes will be bigger and stronger than last year’s club.

Fellow Top 80 invitees Brooke McAdam and Delaney Frey, along with Moose Jaw midget AA graduate Alex Lind, are also expected in Swift Current when Wildcats training camp officially gets underway Aug. 20.

“They’re all big, strong kids and that’s kind of what we’ve targeted,” said Pavely.

Bertram, Kennedy, Newkirk, Feil, and Janzen were expected to find out this week if they would be invited to Team Sask’s fall camp later this month. The fall camp opens Aug. 25, three days after the end of Wildcats’ camp.

“It’s tough to get into the specifics of who might and might not make the team but overall the veteran players … that needed to perform, they stepped up and performed when challenged,” said Saskatchewan head coach Barrett Kropf. “There’s a lot of talk these days about the AAA female league and how far it’s come, and it’s really a credit to guys like Terry in Swift Current and other coaches around the province that we have so many talented young players they’re sending to Sask First camps and so on.”

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