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Student-run hockey day tradition continues Wednesday

Hockey Day in Collingwood serves as final exam for CCI's hockey program
Teacher Todd Hammond and some of the CCI hockey class students ran a practice on Monday morning for Mountainview students who will be playing in the Hockey Day in Collingwood tournament this Wednesday.

Two dozen students in a local high school hockey program are about to face off for their final exam. 

The Collingwood Collegiate Institute hockey class has been planning and organizing the annual Hockey Day in Collingwood, which involves 200 students from 11 local schools playing a full-day tournament on the two ice pads in town. 

CCI teacher and hockey program lead Todd Hammond said the hockey course is a lot about leadership, so the Hockey Day offerings also include a practice for each of the participating elementary schools led by CCI hockey students. 

"It's a chance for my students in the hockey course to practice leading ... they're going to be tomorrow's leaders in the sport," said Hammond. "They get to plan the practice and then execute it and find out how hard it is to be a coach." 

On Jan. 17, the students will be responsible for running the tournament, from admission to scoreboards, and some are now certified as officials for games. It will serve as their summary task for the course, and will contribute to their mark.

The 12-team co-ed tournament runs from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Central Park and Eddie Bush Arena, and includes teams from Admiral, Birchview, Cameron St., Mountainview, New Lowell, Nottawa, Nottawasaga-Creemore, St. Mary's, St. Noel, Stayner, and Worsley schools. 

In the evening there will be two high school varsity games of CCI versus Our Lady of the Bay Catholic High School. The girls play first at 6 p.m. and the boys play at 7 p.m. 

"Basically all the schools in this part of the county come, and we try to keep the goal exactly the same, it's all about having fun," said Hammond. "It's really been amazing to see that the kids do come and they sort of forget about winning and they just play with their friends." 

This is the tenth anniversary of Hockey Day in Collingwood, but the ninth event since one was skipped during the COVID pandemic. 

Hammond said he's noticed a marked increase in girls participating in the hockey teams and day-long event. 

"We're at 50 girls this year," said Hammond. "You can see the influence of the girls' minor hockey programs, the ability of the girls to play has just improved so much and it's just so awesome to see." 

The whole day is open to the public and spectators are appreciated. Admission is free, but the students will be collecting donations for the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital Foundation.  

During the varsity games in the evening, the U7 Girls' Lighting team will do an exhibition skate during the intermission and there will also be a chuck-a-puck charity event with proceeds going to the hospital. 

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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 15 years of experience as a local journalist
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