Ice Miners play like the big boys
November 3, 2009
The Ice Miners Mites hockey team got its chance to play in front of about 300 people Oct. 30 in an exhibition match during intermission at the Pioneers hockey game at the Park City Ice Arena.
"There was a lot of people and they were cheering for us," eight-year-old Michael Burrows said.
"People were stomping their feet," Michael’s twin brother Matthew Burrows added.
The exhibition match took place after the first period of the Pioneers game in part to entertain the crowd and also to promote hockey to young children, Pioneers manager Aaron Dufford said.
The twins’ mom, Kim Burrows, said the kids had a great time playing in front of such a large crowd.
"They got to play like the big boys," she said.
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They also had the chance to watch a real hockey game with players who have years of experience.
"They’re better than the Trappers," eight-year-old Brock Fizer said.
The Ice Miners began practice on Oct. 6 and are just beginning to play the first games of the season. The Ice Miners consist of five divisions with kids ages 5-14.
Ice Miners marketing director Larry Feldman said the purpose of the program is to teach the children the basics of hockey while having fun, but also to be more competitive.
"If you can’t skate, you can’t do anything else," he said. "(We teach) heavy drills on skating, skating, skating. The progression we see is tremendous."
Feldman, who also coaches his son’s Mite team, said it’s fun to watch the kids put on the hockey equipment and know they’re not going to get hurt. He said the kids are more willing to go after the puck with their hockey gear on.
"It’s not about wins and losses right now," he said. "It’s about how we grow these kids into hockey players. And we’ll worry about X’s and O’s later."
This is the second year for the Ice Miners. Feldman said they are the second largest group at the Ice Arena.
"When we had 100 kids sign up last year, we were like, ‘Wow,’" he said. "They came out in droves and fortunately this year, they’re still here."
The group practices at the Ice Arena but is not affiliated with any of the recreation leagues.
"The biggest challenge we have is getting ice time at convenient time," he said. "We’re also parents. We have to take into account that we have little children who need their 10 hours of sleep."
Although the Ice Miners have already begun their season, Feldman said it’s not too late to sign up. Registration is $425 per child for a season that runs from October to mid-March. Those who sign up after January may be eligible to pay half the registration fee. If a child would like to try hockey one time, the Ice Miners have equipment that can be borrowed. For more information, visit http://www.pciceminers.org.