Though minor hockey is for young athletes to explore every opportunity to develop and fulfill their dreams on the ice, However, it is seen that a handful of 15-years-olds from the Lethbridge area are forced to find other options to play at the highest level.
Ava Caputo and Callie McCulloch — as well as two others from the Lethbridge area — are playing this hockey season with the Lloydminster PWM Steelers; one of just six female U18 AAA teams in Alberta.
Last year when Caputo and McCulloch played U15 AA Southern Express but as they aged out to U18, it is clear that their local options were extremely limited.
Caputo has to move somewhere else in order to groom her identity in sports. As she says “We don’t have a AAA team here, and now we don’t have a AA team, so really I can’t play here at all,”
Due to fewer players in the AA team, it has to be held. Those four players are headed to Lloydminster and now others are also looking to move to the South Alberta Hockey Academy program in Medicine Hat.
Caputo has also observed that due to limited options several former teammates are quitting hockey.
Caputo said that there were nine players in the team now they are forced to quit hockey because of less number of players in a team.
McCulloch says she has to play in the team of boys for U15. However, it is quite hard to manage with boys while changing rooms and stuff like that. She further says due to such reasons they are in the corner closets at the rink to go change.