By Tyler Lowey, Times Reporter
Even through the changing numbers in small-town hockey, the Rockyford Minor Hockey Association still has enough players to field three teams.
“Every year is different; that’s just small-town hockey. Some years, we have teams from tyke all the way up to midget. This year is not one of those years,” said Rockyford Minor Hockey Association President Evan Koester. “It’s hit or miss.”
Still, Rockyford is home to three different Roughneck teams that play in the Central Alberta Hockey League at the atom, peewee and bantam level.
The atom Roughnecks are currently last in the CAHL. Through 10 games in the Tier 4 West division, they are 0-9-1. Dawson Gregory and Jace Munchrath lead the team with seven points each. Behind them is Aiden Ellis, who has five assists in nine games.
In the peewee division, the Roughnecks have a pair of wins in eight games. Landon Brindle is the only Roughneck in double figures with 10 goals. Troy Semeniuk is second on the team with eight goals and 11 points, while Mitchell Nienaber has nine points in eight games.
The bantam Roughnecks are the best defensive team in the Tier 4 Blue division. Their 30 goals allowed through eight games is the fewest by a large margin. Bassano is the next closest with 46 goals allowed.
Kurtis Seeley has been the main stopper between the pipes. His .920 save percentage is a big reason behind the leading defensive unit. He also owns a 2-0-3 record this season.
Brayden Nienaber leads the Roughnecks with 12 goals and 15 assists in eight games, while Jace Paget is second on the team with 10 goals and 17 points in four games. Reid Regehr is the other Roughneck in double figures with 12 points.
The arena the Roughnecks call home has not seen any upgrades this past year, nor are any upgrades planned. That doesn’t mean it’s not being used frequently.
The atom program will host an eight-team tournament this weekend, wrapping up Jan. 14. The following week, it’s the peewees turn to host their tournament. That runs Jan 19-21. The bantam program already held its annual tournament earlier this winter.
The rink is constantly being used by Strathmore hockey teams as they get squeezed out of the Strathmore Family Centre. There are also a pair of ringette teams, a U12 and U10, that play in the Ringette Alberta League and call Rockyford Arena home.