The minor hockey season has swung into full gear now that the tiering games are out fo the way and teams are in their allotted divisions.

For one group of youngsters, it's a little bit different, as Novice Level players just entering the game play half-ice hockey.

"We have a small group of about eight kids, so we play four on four," outlined Kevin Hunter, assistant coach with the Encana Half-Ice Novice Raptors. "With a goalie, we also have three on the bench when we have a full squad, so they get lots of ice time and they're enjoying it, for sure."

Half-ice hockey was only mandated for entry-level players in Alberta last season and Hunter admitted it's been a learning process, but he thinks it's good for the kids as they try to pick up the rudiments of the game.

"Near the end, from what I understand, they'll start introducing full-ice (hockey) so that we can get used to the rules of full-ice with the offsides and icing and whatnot," he added.

"This group has been together for a couple of years now, so nothing fazes them," stated Hunter. "They like being around each other and they love the game of hockey, so it's a win-win for them."

half ice 1Photo courtesy Marion Morton.

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