Michigan Tech annual hockey camp kicks off in Houghton

Hockey players kneel as they listen to their coach for directions during Michigan Tech Hockey...
Hockey players kneel as they listen to their coach for directions during Michigan Tech Hockey Camp(Keegan Cooper)
Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 3:35 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Over 300 hockey players from 12 different states will take to the ice in the next few weeks in Houghton for Michigan Tech’s hockey camp.

Houghton, the birthplace of professional hockey serves as a great place for youngsters to learn and practice the fundamentals. The camp kicked off on Monday and will run for the next three weeks.

The camp has two main focuses this year, having fun and working to master the basics of hockey. Before strapping on the skates and hitting the ice, prospective hockey players must learn how to handle the puck on solid ground.

Current Michigan Tech Right Wing Jake Crespi says it’s important to be comfortable moving the puck off the ice before lacing up the skates.

“We’re working on them feeling the puck, getting touches, working on passes, calling for passes. Just the good fundamentals you need as you get older in hockey,” said Crespi.

Once you have that down and you strap on your skates, a day of camp begins with power skating drills. The goal with power skating is to master your comfort level on the ice. To be good at hockey, you must first be a good skater.

Former Huskie and former Canadian pro, Tyler Shelast, says each day begins power skating because it is the small things that ultimately make you a better hockey player.

“Skating is such a big one. The difference from skating with a puck and without a puck is absolutely huge. That’s why we focus on so much of that early in camp and do a bulk of that. We teach them how to skate, understand edges, understand just the small things that are gonna drive them and help them grow,” said Shelast.

The camp puts players through various drills throughout the week some working on skating, others on handling the puck, and even some strategies like a three-on-three drill where the focus is finding the open man.

Along with the hockey comes another opportunity, the campers get to bond with one another and make memories throughout their time at camp week From different activities like going to the pool, climbing on the rock wall, hanging in the residence halls, or getting rowdy in the locker room. The week provides the young hockey players with an opportunity to learn and laugh while playing the game they love.

At the end of each hockey camp there’s a scrimmage giving the players a chance to show what they have learned. A great ending to a week where campers learn to handle the biscuit so they can be ready to light up the lamp.

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