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Oilers Hockey Clinic presented by Cenovus Energy returns to Bonnyville

by Jessica McPhee / Edmonton Oilers
Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk poses with students at the Oilers Hockey Clinic presented by Cenovus.

Ninety young hockey players aged nine to 12 and their families wrapped up a fun-filled weekend on Sunday at the Oilers Hockey Clinic presented by Cenovus Energy. For the second consecutive year, the Oilers partnered with Cenovus to provide this unique program to young players from across Oil Country.

The weekend kicked off with a Community BBQ at the Centennial Centre in Bonnyville. Over 1000 people from Bonnyville, Cold Lake and surrounding communities come out to enjoy a complimentary dinner, fun and games for the whole family and a chance to meet Oilers Alumni and two-time Stanley Cup Champion, Dave Lumley.

“The Oilers Hockey Clinic and all the weekend’s activities shows such incredible support for our rural community, it’s great to see Cenovus out here too,” Clayton Backer, Bonnyville resident.

On Saturday morning the boys and girls laced up their skates and put on their new Oilers jerseys for the two day clinic that featured both on and off-ice training as well as team building activities. The on-ice training featured hockey skills to help the kids develop their overall game and the off-ice training focused on the importance of fitness, healthy living, encouraging the kids to just have fun and stay active whether they’re playing hockey or another sport.

“This clinic is awesome, my son is loving it!” said parent Annie Jackson. “It’s great for the community of Bonnyville and for our kids to have an opportunity like this.”

Over 300 kids signed up for the clinic and 90 were randomly selected and invited to attend the no-cost clinic held by the Oilers and Cenovus Energy.  Boys and girls from all across Northern Alberta and even as far away as Saskatchewan participated in this weekend’s camp.

“I haven’t been on the ice since my hockey season ended and it was great to get out there again,” clinic participant Emily Gerald from Cold Lake. “I like that I got to meet kids from other towns too.”

Special guest Devan Dubnyk arrived at the clinic on Saturday to meet fans and give the participants some netminding tips. Dubnyk also assisted in goaltending session for all the clinic’s goalies.

“The day has been unbelievable, the whole set-up of the camp is impressive,” Devan Dubnyk. “Being here was great; it reminded me of the hockey clinics I used to go to. I brought my skates and had a blast out there with the kids.”

In addition to teaching hockey skills, the clinic also held a session focused on team and character building. A local RCMP Officer came out to give a session on showing respect both on and off the ice. The whole weekend was aimed at not only growing the kids as hockey players but also as people.

“It’s been fantastic weekend for both the kids and the parents,” said parent Shane Landry, Saskatchewan. “The clinic’s message of sportsmanship and fair play was outstanding.”

The Oilers Hockey Clinic was a great opportunity for the Oilers and Cenovus Energy to partner in an effort to thank the fans of Oil Country for their support.
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