From a media release:
Hit The Ice returns for its sixth season. The 15-episode series features Midget and Junior Indigenous hockey hopefuls, from communities across the country, aged 16 to 18, as they are put through the paces of a real NHL style training camp by a team led by ex-NHL coach and player John Chabot. This year, for the first time ever, hopefuls had the chance to try out either via virtual video or in person in Winnipeg.
Premieres on March 10 on APTN e and APTN hd at 12:00 p.m. ET, APTN w at 10:00 a.m. MT and APTN n at 11:00 a.m CT. The Cree version of the show began on February 7.
The players are tested and put through various hockey drills and other physical challenges during the camp in Winnipeg. Unfortunately, like the pros, the players then go through cuts and watch some of their group released until the final roster is determined.
The 20 remaining prospects then experience the challenges of an NHL calibre training camp featuring physical training, on ice drills and different team building activities which make them grow not only as a team but also as men. Their ultimate payoff is to showcase their skills playing against a Team Made in Manitoba under the scrutinizing eyes of real-life Junior hockey scouts from the Canadian Hockey League as well as U.S. universities. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that few young players will ever get to experience.
The coaching & training team is led by ex-NHL coach and player John Chabot, a member of the Kitigan Zibi First Nation, who returns as head coach of the camp. Chabot played with the Canadiens, Red Wings and Penguins and had coached & assistant-coached for the Islanders as well as in the QMJHL. His team includes:
Ron Choules, currently a coach with the Gatineau Olympiques; was the Assistant Coach for Team Canada U-18; played in the QMJHL, drafted by the Maple Leafs.
Pat Loyer, currently president of the Calgary Canucks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League; coached in the WHL and various Junior A teams; played in Major Junior for the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Alfie Michaud, Ojibwe, currently the goalie coach for the University of Maine’s hockey team; goaltended for the Canucks, the Danish Sonderjyske Ishockey and in the AHL.
Carrie Peters, a strength and conditioning coach and fitness instructor will take care of the off-ice training.
Mark Stone (Ottawa Senators player)
Calvin Pickard (currently Vegas Golden Knights player, formerly Colorado Avalanche)
Travis Hamonic, Métis (currently Calgary Flames player, formerly with NY Islanders)
Joe Cramorossa (currently Stockton Heat/AHL player, formerly with Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks)
Brandon Montour, Six Nations of the Grand River (Anaheim Ducks player).
Dr. Adrienne Leslie-Toogood, a University of Manitoba sports psychologist.
J.P. Vigier, a former NHL player (Atlanta Thrashers) and coach.
Brad McEwen, an NHL scout with the Calgary Flames. Brad will lead the player evaluation and selection process for Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for the 2018 World Junior Championship.
R.T. Rice, the Hit the Ice alumnus who has been invited to attend the Vancouver Canucks’ development camp.
Dan Girardin MPT, BESS, is the physiotherapist for the team.
Over the years, Hit The Ice has demonstrated its positive impact on young Indigenous hockey players with many of them now playing in the WHL, QMJHL and the OHL. Everyone’s hope is to one day see one of the players reach their goal of playing in the NHL.
About Nish Media
The series is produced by Nish Media, a multi-award-winning production company based in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. Over the past ten years, producer Jason Brennan has produced over 200 hours of television for various networks such as APTN, CBC, Radio-Canada, Ici ArtV, Canal D, TV5 and CBC Docs, including Mouki, Wapikoni, La Fosse aux tigres and six seasons of Hit The Ice, nominated in prestigious television festivals including the Banff World Media Festival and Italy’s FICTS. Its first feature film, “Le Dep”, was selected to play in several film festivals including the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic, the Vancouver Film Festival, the Raindance Film Festival, ImagineNative and the American Indian Film Festival. Nish Media is currently adapting Marc Séguin’s novel Nord Alice for film, as well as producing Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s next feature film Rustic Oracle.
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