A New League Is HereFor years, we have speculated about where a new league of roller hockey could possibly be located. Today, the speculation is over, as we officially announce the start of a new league at the Nakusp & District Sports Complex starting Tuesday, 24 April. Burton Hockey will never be the same.
The new league with the as-yet-undetermined name will finally see roller hockey being played directly in Nakusp on a regular basis (not having to drive to Burton just to play roller hockey really does make a difference in numbers). Essentially, this is a fusion of three different groups: the Burton United Socialist Hockey (BUSH) gang that visitors to this website are already familiar with; players from the Nakusp Falcons midget club that finished third last month at provincials and are looking to keep the hockey flame going through the spring and summer; and players from Nakusp Commercial Hockey who don't want to stop playing just because there's no ice in the rink during the summer.
With this larger talent pool (you can expect between 12 and 24 players every session, and the goal for the first week is to get 20 players out), the quality of hockey should be very high. The driving force behind the new arena league is Zac Wethal, a talented player and all-around good dude with four years of junior hockey experience that BUSH has tried to get into its fold for years. Thanks to Zac, the arena was able to be booked for a very cheap rate (just five dollars per player).
One thing that will be apparent right away with the arena league is that the style of play will be very different in this regulation-size rink. These will be 4-on-4 and 5-on-5 sessions, meaning that the per-game stats will look like interleague or Queen Elizabeth Park stats rather than the dense point totals seen in Burton and at Ambleside. Players are heavily advised to wear at least lower-body gear due to the high number of slapshots expected. And, naturally, with a roof, weather will never be an issue in this league.
Should arena hockey take off, there is the distinct possibility of a second session each week being booked. And, as always, players are welcome to organise or join in on BUSH sessions if they don't want to be tied just to Tuesday. Arena hockey is the biggest thing to ever happen to roller hockey in the Arrow Lakes, and we are very excited to be in on the ground floor! If you're in Nakusp on a Tuesday night this spring or summer, bring your gear and join in on all the action.
As for your humble statistician, he'll be there, sitting inside of an actual scorer's box. The biggest adjustment, however, might be trying to explain to the new guys how the SDF works...