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02-08-2006, 02:06 PM
God Bless Canada
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Bentley reunion
I live about 90 minutes from the Notre Dame School in Wilcox. It is, bar none, the best hockey school on the planet. They have a proud history and tradition there. Strong Bantam and Midget AA and AAA hockey programs, and a junior hockey team that is usually in the top 5 of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. A lot of players who go to Notre Dame get NCAA college scholarships, and a handful of Notre Dame alums get drafted by the NHL this year. Notable graduates include Curtis Joseph, Rod Brind'Amour and Brad Richards from the junior program, and Vincent Lecavalier from the midget program. The Maple Leafs once iced The Hound Line - Gary Leeman, Russ Courtnall and Wendel Clark - who all played at ND.
The rink is international-sized, but ironically the highlight is the lobby. Pictures of all their prominent graduates hang proudly. You can spend an hour just looking at all the great players who went to school there.
If you can withstand the isolation (it's about 30-40 minutes from the nearest cities), I'd recommend it. Wilcox only has about 100-150 people, and the community only exists because of the school.
Incidentally, one of the former coaches at Notre Dame, Kelly Lovering, coached the Australian national team for about for years in the late 90s/early 2000s. You wouldn't happen to know him, would you?
There are a couple other impressive hockey schools in Saskatchewan: Caronport High School, which has great infrastructure and plays in a pretty strong midget league (I believe Ryan Smyth played there for a while), and College Mathieu, which is in Gravelbourgh and is rapidly rising among the ranks of Canadian hockey schools.
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