Over Labour Day weekend, the ice rinks in Moncton were brimming with youthful exuberance, as young hockey players soared across the ice. Showcasing talent from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I., and Quebec, the annual CCM Summer Shootout tournament presented 24 teams this year.
Featuring four distinctive divisions, catered to birth years from 2015 to 2012, the tournament proved a testament to the striking development of these fledgeling players. “Their performance on the ice is genuinely delightful. It’s astounding how proficient these young athletes are in the game at their age”, Charlie Bourgeois, President of Atlantic Hockey Group, commended.
Primed to provide the children a final weekend of unbridled hockey revelry before they pivot their attention to the upcoming academic season, the tournament also served to prepare them for the forthcoming minor hockey season. However, Bourgeois emphasises that the implications of the event transcend just the game.
First and foremost, the aim is to create enriching hockey experiences, allowing aspiring athletes to engage at the highest echelons of the sport. “However,” Bourgeois elucidated, “our broader objective is to leverage hockey as a medium to impart essential life skills—respect, discipline, hard work, teamwork, handling success gracefully, and learning from failure.”
Bourgeois imparts credit where it’s due, recognizing the integral role of the parents and coaches in the success of their program. “We’re incredibly fortunate to have the support of our parents, coaches and everyone else who shares our ideology and aids in manifesting our vision,” Bourgeois gratefully acknowledged.
The team limit for the Atlantic Hockey Group was set at 24, constrained by the available ice time. Meanwhile, Bourgeois emphasizes the significance of promoting women in hockey, an initiative close to his heart. He gushed about his two hockey-playing daughters who have evinced prowess in the sport and thus his vested interest in “going all in” for female hockey.
Post the action-packed three-day tournament, stages of which were hosted at both the Superior Propane Centre and the Avenir Centre, the Atlantic Hockey Group now shifts its focus to the upcoming CCM Winter Academy. Bourgeois anticipates a robust participation of over 600 students seizing the ice in October.