Kahnawake Minor Hockey teams are hoping for a better year this year, as all levels are back on the ice and working hard. (Courtesy Minor Hockey)
As Kahnawake Mohawks minor hockey enters the new season, several teams have begun their first few games with significant improvements from last year.
The Atom A team defeated the Ile Perrot Islanders 5-4 in their home opener at the Kahnawake Sports Complex on Saturday. Despite the win, Ronnie Stacey, Atom A head coach, says there is still room for improvement for the team.
“It’s always satisfying to open the season with a win,” he said. “But we still have work to put in and we already started last night (Tuesday) at practice. We’re getting our forwards back-checking to help out the defence in our own zone.”
The team had nine wins in 19 games last season and want to improve to a top-five finish this year, according to Stacey.
Ryder Norton and Ronwerahatie Jacobs scored two goals apiece with Arahkwenhawe Two Axe scoring the other goal. Rome Delisle racked up two assists with Jaxton McComber and Marcus Rice, each picking up an assist.
“We outskated the Islanders from the opening faceoff, right through to the closing buzzer,” said Stacey. “This team is fast and they have no quit.”
Their next game is on the road against the Vaudreuil Vikings on Sunday at 3:15 p.m.
The Peewee A team had two games over the weekend. They were shutout by the Chateauguay Cavaliers 2-0 on Saturday. However, they rebounded with a 3-3 tie against the Chateauguay Ducs.
Jackson Norton scored two goals with Iotersheronies Diabo getting one of his own. Joren Norton, Shakonikonhrawis Diabo and Nikatsenhaa Montour added an assist each in the tie.
“The boys play with passion and that’s what’s important,” said Kateri Oesterreich, Peewee A assistant coach. “They are still learning and as a team, they will get there.”
The tie was a significant improvement from last year as the team went winless in 24 games with an 0-22-2 record last year. They look to get their first win since a few seasons ago, according to Oesterreich. The team’s chemistry continues to build on and off the ice as they are often together at school or in sports.
“The boys worked hard all season (last year) and had potential, but just couldn’t get the puck in the net,” she said. “The strengths of this year’s team are the players being all the same age and are at school together. The majority of the players hang out, play street hockey together and in the winter, they will be on the outdoor rinks.”
The Peewee A Mohawks will host the Vikings on Saturday at the Kahnawake Sports Complex at 11:00 a.m.
Midget A Mohawks drew to the Vikings 1-1. Tehoseratie Phillips and Lucas Diabo got the helpers to Tekaroniake Cross Pranteau’s lone goal on Saturday.
They lost to the Chateauguay Cavaliers the following day, 5-2. Shakowihon Cross and Kent Sky scored the team’s goals. The Midget A team will visit the Valleyfield Braves this Sunday at 1:30 p.m.