By Tyler Lowey, Times Reporter
The Hussar Arena isn’t home to too many local teams, but that doesn’t mean the ice isn’t constantly in use.
The Village of Hussar only has enough players to dress one bantam minor hockey team and one ringette team this winter, which is about the usual for them.
The Bassano Outlaws graduated to the bantam level from peewee last season, and is comprised of players from both Hussar and Bassano. Each year, they alternate between Bassano and Hussar as the “host city,” but they still split ice time in half. They dress 14 players each game, with half calling Hussar home and half calling Bassano home.
“If we don’t work with the Bassano kids, then we wouldn’t have enough kids to field our own team,” said Angela Holm. “Our players would have to head elsewhere for ice time. It’s nice having a team and seeing local families at the rink on the weekends.”
Playing in the Central Alberta Hockey League, the Outlaws sit fourth place out of six teams in the Tier 4 Blue division and own a 3-5 record. Gabriel Huckerby leads the Outlaws with nine goals and six assists in eight games. Dustin Holm has eight goals and 12 points, and Emmitt Filkohazy rounds out the Top 3 in scoring with six goals and nine points.
Coming down the pipe for the Outlaws is a tournament in Beiseker Jan. 19-21, as they play out the second half of their season, which concludes the weekend of Feb. 18. Because of the team and town size, the Outlaws will not be competing for any provincial glory, just the CAHL playoffs in the end of February.
Hussar is also home to the Hussar Fireworks, a U12B ringette team that plays in the Calgary Ringette League.
The Fireworks is primarily comprised of Hussar players, but they do have a few from Bassano and Rockyford in their dressing room.
In their sixth year of existence in Hussar, the Fireworks, coached by Grant Gregory, got off to a great start this season, when they captured their home tournament title back on Nov. 26.
Grant’s wife, Jeadene, the team manager, is hoping the success in tourney play continues Feb. 19-21 during the Esso Golden Ring tournament in Calgary. It is one of the biggest tournaments on the ringette calendar.
Aside from the two local teams, the Hussar ice opens its doors annually to tournaments that require extra ice time.
“We are basically at full capacity for ice time,” said Holm. “There are a lot of tournaments in Strathmore and even some Calgary ones that use our ice. It’s a great way to keep money coming into the arena.”
Aside from hockey and ringette games, Hussar is also home for skating lessons on Monday nights, hosted by Strathmore’s Sam Miller.
When the ice isn’t booked for games or lessons, the arena welcomes anyone to come in for an open skate as a fun exercise.