Hockey season gets ready to start; teams fill local rinks

Photo by Daniel Gretzner
Al Loebach coaches the Dearborn Belle Tire squirt AA travel hockey team which features goalie Joey Morency.

Thousands of children already have started filling up local ice rinks as they get ready for action during the fall/winter season. These youngsters, from mighty-mites, midgets, pee-wees, squirts and bantams, will be out there in team practice, playing a sport that they love.

Dearborn and Downriver area teams have been forming travel squads that will soon be playing on the various community ice rinks. League schedules and games are across many divisions and age levels, with the largest travel teams hooked up to play with the likes of Belle Tire, HoneyBaked Ham and Little Caesar’s.

Dearborn native Tom Anastos has been a strong link to the college hockey scene. The Michigan State University head coach starts his second season with the green and white varsity icers. MSU competes in the Central College Athletic Association. Last year, Anastos led his Spartans to a 19-16-4 overall record.

In past years, the late Mike Adray sponsored numerous youth hockey teams. Most folks who live in the Dearborn vicinity fondly remember his generous donations that helped purchase equipment and uniforms.

The National Hockey League owners and players are in a lockout of the new season. So what? There is still plenty of hockey to be played on a local level, where there is no lockout. If you enjoy hockey and want to take in a few games, then check out the closest neighborhood rink and enjoy the children playing for fun and especially for the love of the game.