The term “topsy-turvy” might be the best way to describe the novice A Westmount Wings’ season so far. With a 5-7-0 record to date including wins as impressive as 6-0 and 7-0 and losses by scores like 7-0 and 9-2, the Wings are what you could call a work in progress.
But the key is that the kids are learning and growing together.
“At the beginning of the year the coaching staff promised only to make the kids better players and we have been able to do that for everyone so
far,” coach Edward Harvey said. “We also had made a point that the novice team from Westmount rarely does well in the standings but by the end of the year we would be competitive.
“We have actually managed to accomplish that as we are in the middle of the pack in the league.”
Indeed, the measure of success for novice season isn’t wins and losses, rather it’s as simple as the old line – what matters is how you play the game, and of course, that the kids have a good time.
“The most fun for me has been being part of a team and being named assistant captain. I like my teammates and we play well together,” defenceman William Molson, 7, said. “My favourite part of playing hockey is scoring goals – I’m a defenceman and I am very happy to have 12 goals this year! I also like making new friends and talking hockey with them.”
It’s just that kind of attitude that has sparked the Wings’ as of late.
“I think our team’s biggest strength is the kids’ enthusiasm and the total lack of egos. The kids are all willing to try hard and learn,” Harvey explained, adding that moving forward he and his coaching crew will work on developing the team aspect of the game.
“We probably need to improve on team play in the second half of the year because most of the kids’ individual skills have improved enough to allow progression to team skills,” he said. “This is great because most kids this age are still worrying about how to pass the puck and skate.”
The progress has been evident as of late.
The Wings opened the season with three straight lopsided defeats, losing 7-0 to the St. Laurent Sonics, 6-2 to the TMS Devils, and 7-0 to the LaSalle Lions. Westmount then registered its first win of the year in its fourth game – a 3-2 victory over the TMR Diables, before falling to the LaSalle Jaguars.
Then the results of all their hard work began paying off with a pair of shutout wins, 6-0 over the Verdun Ambassadeurs and 7-0 over the Westmount/Hampstead Knights.
The Wings then fell 8-1 to Lac St. Louis, notched yet another shutout win – this time 1-0 over Côte St. Luc, and then lost 7-2 to St. Laurent.
Finally, a 9-2 loss to the Maroons and a 6-2 win over the Verdun Avalanche led them to their current record and eighth place in the standings.
“No doubt [our improvement] in large part due to the help the team is receiving – I would like to thank the large array of volunteers and coaches that has made this team run as well as it has,” Harvey said.
“The best part of coaching kids at this level in particular is seeing this development happen. It’s very rewarding.”