Point Edward hockey is in a league apart

Point Edward Novice goalie Matthew Clatworthy poses with village minor hockey association president Liz Page. Photo courtesy, Metcalfe Photography

Barry Wright

Despite having one of the smallest catchment areas in southwestern Ontario, teams from the Point Edward Minor Hockey Association are having another banner season in the Lambton-Middlesex Local League.

At press time, the six clubs from Tyke to Midget (ages seven to 17) had amassed an overall record of 47-13-6.

Winning seasons have been the norm over the 43-year history of the association, said president Liz Page.

Typically Point Edward teams, known as the Blackhawks, are champions or finalists in many divisions, she said.

“We are house league teams, but we have to travel since there are no other house leagues (of our size) that we can play against in our area,” said Page, noting they play teams from larger centres including Strathroy, Lambton Shores, East Lambton and South Huron.

Point Edward kids get first crack at the 132 spots available, and only when all village players have been placed on teams can those from other centres, mostly Sarnia, be considered.

The players work hard and develop under the tutelage of capable and committed coaches in the system, she said.

The success of the program also hinges on the support of parents, volunteers, arena staff and the Village of Point Edward itself, she added.

“The village really does value what we are doing, which is nice.”

The second annual Spirit Day in late November had the Point Edward teams all play a home game the same day. The focus for the Blackhawks now shifts to the Walter Gretzky House League Tournament next month in Brantford.

“We all go together so we can support each other,” said Page, who noted with a chuckle she expects some good old-fashioned tailgating by Point parents that weekend.

The regular season of the Point Edward Minor Hockey teams concludes at the end of January, with Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) Playdowns beginning shortly after.

Talk of a Junior “C” franchise for the village that first surfaced a few years ago is still percolating in the minor hockey association, Page said.

“It’s still a dream. But finding enough ice time is the issue.”