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United Hockey summer camp underway at Lethbridge’s ATB Centre

Click to play video: 'United Hockey summer camp underway at Lethbridge’s ATB Centre' United Hockey summer camp underway at Lethbridge’s ATB Centre
Some local hockey players were beating the heat at the ATB Centre in Lethbridge on Wednesday. They were hitting the ice for the United Hockey camp and there were some familiar faces taking part. Taz Dhaliwal has the story. – Jul 22, 2020

Some hockey players in southern Alberta are happy to be hitting the ice again after being away from the rink since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Hockey summer camp is currently underway at the ATB Centre in Lethbridge. The camp aim to achieve player skill development with the help of professional coaching experts.

Seasoned Vancouver Giants head coach and former Lethbridge Hurricanes coach Michael Dyck is helping the players get back into gear for the upcoming virtual World Junior camp.

“It’s awesome to be back on the ice, and it’s great to be back in Lethbridge,” said Dyck on Wednesday.

“[It’s] an opportunity to not only work with some of the players here through the midgets but obviously, the opportunity to work with the junior pro group that we have here.
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“We’ve got a pretty premier group of players who have come back, who are playing pro hockey now.”

Read more: Addison enjoying opportunity at unconventional NHL camp

Lethbridge Hurricanes player and elite prospect Dylan Cozens is stepping in as a mentor for the camp.

“They’re all good players. You know, they’re all the same age as me. They’re some guys older than me too,” said Cozens.

“[There’s] been some good skates, you know lots of good players out there, you know pushing the competition… so it’s been good to be out with them.”

Another rising star participating in the camp is Brandon Wheat Kings player Ridly Greig.

Even though the guys are not able to do some drills due to physical distancing concerns, they’re still giving it their all during practice.

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“Obviously, the first couple of sessions, the rust was shaking out a little bit, but getting back at it with week two here, it’s starting to come and it feels unreal to get the stick out,” Greig said.

Read more: Doug Paisley named new head coach of Coaldale Copperheads

The players say they’re becoming accustomed to playing hockey during this ‘new normal’ of added rules and regulations.

“It’s obviously a little different dressing outside in the parking lot and everything, but just getting out on the ice with the guys has bee unreal so far,” Greig said.

“It’s definitely important that we follow all the restrictions and guidelines so we can overcome this and not spread it,” said Cozens.

“It definitely takes a lot of adjusting, but it’s going to be our everyday life here pretty soon so we got to get used it.”

Despite the lost ice time in recent months, Dyck believes the players are currently performing at a more than adequate level.

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