TISDALE — Three Tisdale Trojans will be competing at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.
Forward Andrew Hawes and goaltenders Roddy Ross and Tanner Martin have been selected to play for Team Saskatchewan. The National Aboriginal Hockey Championships run May 6-14 in Membertou, N.S. The event has been held since 2001 for high-level bantam and midget aged players.
“This tournament is an amazing chance for me to represent my province the best I can,” Martin said.
Hawes was injured for the part of the Trojans’ midget AAA season. The Kindersley forward, who turned 18 in January, was an effective shotblocker who had an offensive upside.
“It is great to see him healthy and making the team and getting an opportunity to play some really good hockey here in the next month,” said Tisdale head coach Darrell Mann.
The selection of Martin and Ross to the team comes after their fine Trojans’ seasons. Ross was the team’s MVP and set the Trojans record for goals against average in a season at 1.85. Meanwhile, Martin had a team record five shutouts and was selected as the squad’s playoff MVP.
“It showed what our goaltenders are all about... They are guys who carried our hockey team all season and continue to receive recognition,” Mann said. “I couldn’t be prouder of these two young men.”
The trio are pleased to be competing at the event together.
“I’m very blessed to be picked and able to play alongside my friends Roddy and Andrew,” said Martin, a St. Brieux resident who turned 17 in February.
In addition, the goalie said he knew many of his other provincial teammates because the majority have played in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. In order to compete, players must be born in 2000 to 2004 inclusive and be of Indigenous ancestry.
For example, Ross is a member of the Canoe Lake Cree Nation. The Meadow Lake product has not lived there, but competes for their teams when he can.
“Canoe Lake is a very big hockey community,” the 17-year-old said. “I actually played in a tournament with them [in late March] and we won $10,000 for first place.”
Ross certainly is familiar with the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships. He has competed in them the last two years. In 2017, he played in Duncan, B.C., and two years ago competed in Toronto. This will be the furthest Ross has travelled to play hockey.
“I’m looking forward to the atmosphere,” Ross said. “It’s such a rush chasing after the title. It’s such a competitive tourney.”