Miller taking over girls’ hockey helm

Jamie Mountain

The Fort Frances Girls’/Women’s Hockey Association held its annual general meeting last Tuesday night in the ’52 Canadians boardroom, at which time some changes to the board were announced.
Craig Miller, who was the association’s treasurer, will be taking over as president from Ron MacKinnon for next season.
Ellie Tucker will assume the role of vice-president, Deb Cousineau will remain as the registrar/secretary, Helena Guertin will take over as treasurer, and Aimee Matheson will be the ice scheduler.
Filling out the rest of the board of directors are Ash Gibbs, Tom Kenny, Lauren McCoy, Nicole Miller, Dawn Redford, and Stephanie Weir.
Matt McLellan will be the referee-in-chief.
“Thank you to all that volunteered to fill the board positions for the upcoming season,” the FFGWHA said in a press release.
“And a very big thank you to the outgoing board members for your years of volunteerism and helping shape girls hockey in this region–Sandra Weir, Missy Gurniak, Deb Kenny, John Homer, and Hannah Firth-Oster,” it noted.
Also discussed at last week’s meeting was the fact player fees will increase next season.
“We received a notice a couple of weeks ago from NOHA that Hockey Canada is putting forward about a $5 per player increase in fees,” Craig Miller noted.
“That’s probably something that we can absorb without too much issue,” he added.
Miller also said the Atom and Novice tournaments turned a profit of about $2,500 this past season while the PeeWee/Bantam “showcase” lost money.
“It was kind of a stripped-down event to give kids a weekend of hockey,” he reasoned.
“Hotel rooms were the big issue there,” Miller noted.
“We didn’t have a Midget tournament because it’s tough to attract teams,” he added, noting the FFGWHA might do a combined tournament next season as it would appeal to teams from the U.S. and Winnipeg.
Tournament fees also increased from $750 per team to $1,500 this past season.
“Everybody has their rebates from that now,” said Miller. “Except for Bantam.
“There’s still about another $1,000 or so to go to the Bantam families,” he explained.
“We just didn’t have enough time to get it all done before tonight [April 17].”
Ice time decreased slightly as just 12 teams played regularly compared to 15 from the previous season.
Fall camp savings were nearly $3,000 in total, due to the fact the FFGWHA used local instructors such as Jamie Davis and Jill Langtry.
Coaching per diems also were introduced this season.
“So the coaches that coached, but didn’t have kids, we gave them a travel allowance, basically, to offset their costs” Miller noted.
Meanwhile, the FFGWHA’s “Radio Bingo” program, which aired Monday evenings on 93.1 The Border over the winter, also was a success again this season, churning a profit of $74,987.
“It was the second year in a row that we saw it drop in second-half players,” Miller admitted.
“Some of the thoughts on why that might be is just that, in the second half, a lot of tournaments are happening and you’re coming back on Monday and people don’t wanna play Bingo after being away from home for three days,” he reasoned.
Miller also noted sponsorship was good, adding the FFGWHA got a bump from the “NHL Legends” event held here back in the fall.
“John Homer grabbed that by the horns at the start of the year and ran with it, which is a good thing because it’s a lot of work and it brought in some good money for us,” Miller enthused.