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The Northern Indian Hockey League consists of Montreal Lake, Beardy's, Sturgeon Lake, Little Red, James Smith and John Smith reserves. All but Little Red and Montreal Lake have teams of players who are Treaty Indians. The other two will play with three Metis players, from Little Red and two for Montreal Lake. This was done in order to provide these two reserves with enough players to participate in the League.
League President, Victor Thunderchild, stated, "The aim of this league is to promote hockey among young people. Some reserves may appear weak at first but in a few years, we'll be seeing some pretty good teams."
The Board of Directors for the league consists of the coaches and managers of each team with the managers holding the executive positions. Each team that enters the league will have to pay a $25.00 entry fee, along with a $25.00 performance bond. The performance bond will be forfeited to the opposing team should a team fail to attend a game.
Fines will be levied to the tune of $2.00 for fighting and $3.00 for spearing; the players will be suspended from the game and the following one. Also, the fines will be increased $1.00 for each time a player is charged.
Once again the hockey season has begun and this year, it looks better than ever.
More important than the Christmas season, the hockey season spells fun and excitement at league games and weekend tournaments. The excitement comes to a head in the spring with the provincial playoffs and the last and deciding game.
The teams mostly look good with more players and Reserves involved. Both Prince Albert and Regina Urban Indian teams have strong line-ups and they look like the teams to watch out for.
Ray Ahenakew, Wayne Ahenakew and the Burns boys are playing for P.A.
Freddie Sasakamoose is playing for Meadow Lake so between Prince Albert and Meadow Lake, the Sandy Lake team has shrunk considerably.
Gordons Reserve looks good this year. Last year they were second place in the province but due to their youth and inexperience they lost first place to Sandy Lake. The Gordons team is a fast skating team so I am sure they are another team to watch.
Isadore Campbell will play for the Battleford team. Many of the players from Sweetgrass will be playing for Battleford this year.
Some new teams? Well, both John Smith and Montreal Lake is in the N.I.H.L. (Northern Indian Hockey League). This is their first year but for what they lack in experience, they make up in team spirit.
The staff of The Saskatchewan Indian will attempt to bring you as much hockey news as possible as well as team and player profiles.
So will see you at the games.
Below are some action shots taken at the opening game of the Northern Indian Hockey League on December 8 in St. Louis, Saskatchewan.
The Montreal Lake reserve hockey team, in dark uniforms, faced the Price Albert Urban Indian team and went down in defeat by a score of 39 to 1.
St. Louis is the home ice location of the Montreal Lake Reserve Hockey team.