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Quebec tournament on tap for Jr. Ducks’ Pee Wee AAA squad

 

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Alex Vasilevsky played in Quebec during his extensive pro career, but he’s never coached there.

Suffice to say, he and his Jr. Ducks’ Pee Wee AAA team are excited to head to the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament in February.

“This will be a memorable experience for the boys,” he said.

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The Ukrainian-born Vasilevsky, who came to North America in 1992 to play in the Western Hockey League (WHL) after the breakup of the Soviet Union, likes what he’s seen lately from his Jr. Ducks squad.

“We had a good trip to Detroit for a Tier 1 Elite League showcase and a scrimmage against Belle Tire,” he said. “We went 6-0 and that turned our season around. We played some good teams, top-30 teams, there.

“It’s carried over to some good, strong games locally.”

Prior to the mid-October showcase, the Jr. Ducks had started slowly in CAHA play.

There is more to be gained from hockey than wins and losses, particularly at this age, Vasilevsky emphasized.

“For me, hockey is full of life lessons,” he said. “It helps you be a good human being, a good teammate and a good friend. That is what I focus on first.”

The Jr. Ducks have provided a setting conducive to learning – for both players and coaches, Vasilevsky said.

“I learned from other coaches – drills, how to handle games, how to handle parents and players,” Vasilevsky said. “Craig Johnson is a great example.

“We have a great group of coaches that also work with this team – Eugene Kabanets and Scott Niedermayer. Their help is huge.”

The Pee Wee team’s roster includes skaters Luke Baker, Russell Bustamante, Colin Chon, Tristen Friedman, Brandon Grant, Kyle Isenberg, Sara Ito-Bagshaw, Joshua Niedermayer, Jean-Sebastien Pack, Brian Robertson, Oaken Son, Jason Stefanek, Brodrick Williams, Rocco Zimmerman and Nikita Zozulia and goalies Aidan Comeau and Dylan Silverstein.

— Chris Bayee