Minor Peewee West London Hawks team
Goalie (front): Preston ‘Presto’ Carter. First row (left to right): #12 Nolen ‘Gunner’ Pancino, #3 Edward ‘Snipes’ Jin, #6 Benjamin ‘Dangles’ Vallieres, #9 Reagan ‘Zoom Zoom’ Berdan, #4 Dylan ‘Wheels’ Wade, #13 Chase ‘Knuckles’ Kristensen, #7 Malic ‘Money’ Atieh. Second row: #14 Andrew ‘Rocket’ Calhoun, #17 Lucas ‘Special Delivery’ Mailer, #15 Ryan ‘The Total Package’ Szczepanik, #5 Nathan ‘Curly’ Malone, #16 Blake Kristensen, #11 Simon ‘Boom Boom’ Davidson, #10 Daniel ‘Slick’ Lansard James. Back row (Coaches): Mike Berdan, Sean Berdan, Jeff Malone. Missing from photo: Chris James (Coach)
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The Minor Bantam West London Hawks have learned more than a thing or two over the years in which the core group of players have been competing together. But perhaps no more important lesson has been that teamwork not only creates a better environment for the players, but it also contributes to winning more often.
“We’ve made sure that our players work as a team and made puck movement a priority,” says coach Mike Berdan. “And the kids have embraced this. Over the past few years, they’ve learned this has been a major factor in our success. Every player brings something to the table. And when the game is played as a team, it’s often much easier to win.”
The Minor Bantams (team 35) compete in the Greater London Hockey Association (CHL division), and they play their home games at the new Bostwick Community Centre. Throughout the season, the Hawks play against several teams from other hockey associations in London and area. The age group is players born in 2007 (11 years old).
“Because we are a younger team, one of the things we obviously try to get through to the kids is that the first priority should be fun,” says Berdan, who is in his ninth year as a minor hockey coach and has surrounded himself in the game for over 40 years. “The game of hockey is about having fun. And at the same time, if you don’t have fun you’re unlikely to have success.”
The Minor Bantam Hawks are a close-knit group of kids, Berdan says, and they have each other’s back at every turn. The boys are inclusive with all team members, regardless of talent level. And they’ve enjoyed a good deal of success over the years as a group, reaching the finals in four straight seasons while winning a couple of tournaments along the way.
“They’ve worked hard and used what we’ve taught them to enjoy a lot of success,” Berdan says.
Contributions by Mike Berdan