BUCHANS, NL – It's been a great season for the boys and girls of Buchans Minor Hockey (BMH).
Though their numbers are low, their enthusiasm for the sport was high. The 21 members of the group from Buchans and Millertown began their season in December with practices twice a week since January.
Under the direction of Carolyn Rowsell and Paula White and teen volunteers, the BMH has held four weekend events including two skills competitions and a couple of games against parents/grandparents.
Players took part in the recent Skate for Amber fundraiser, competing against the Rec Hockey Team. For their last game, they played against the 35-and-over team.
At the end of the game they proudly received medals engraved with “Buchans Minors 2017 – 18.”
With several teen volunteers instructing, the young players have gained confidence in their skating and stick-handling skills. Bradley Chippett, Andrew Eveleigh, Zach Hefford, Noel Rowsell, Lindsay Quirk and Erin Gushue have been on the ice regularly, much to the delight of the parents. Rowsell and White also appreciate their time and efforts immensely.
Other volunteers give time when they are available, including Stephanie Brennan and Morgan Thorne, who will referee when he is in Buchans on weekends, as well as Kisha Rowsell, who helps handle the canteen.
BMH members have matching jerseys this year thanks to the generosity of several businesses in the area. Notch Mountain Outfitters, Moosehead Lodge, Sandy Lake Outfitters, Red Indian Lake Outfitters, Buller's Courier, Red Ochre Hotel and Home Hardware have made that possible.
With a carry-over of funds from the 2016-2017 season plus an injection of $3,000 from the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union Local 779, expenses for all players have been kept to a minimum.
White and Rowsell appreciate the support from parents, volunteers, the Town of Buchans and the union, and fans who came out to cheer the children as they played.
“(It is) so nice to see our bench full and people in the stands cheering ‘Buchans Minors Go!’” said White.
The Buchans Minor Hockey season ended March 17 as the stadium shut down its ice plant. A closing banquet will be held soon and each player will receive a plaque to commemorate the year.