Kids hockey camp ends in a draw

Fun and skills development eclipsed game decision at March Break camp

Tension grows, the whistle blows, and the puck goes down the ice.

No, this isn’t a Stompin’ Tom concert. It’s the final hockey game of the Winter Classic March Break Camp at York Mills Arena.

“That’s offside,” yells camp founder Alex Palermo to players on one team who were a bit too eager to get across their opponents’ blue line. “Give them the puck!”

This is just one of many camps Palermo, 36, puts on through his hockey skills organization Ultimate Stride. The development camp that wrapped up on Thursday saw 22 kids age 7-13 looking to improve their skating, shooting and puck control skills.

For 7-year-old T.J. Lemmon, the “awesome” camp did exactly that.

“Always pump your arms fast,” he said, recalling what he learned at the March 16-19 full-day camp.

T.J., who lives in Teddington Park, said he came to the camp hoping to improve his skills in the hopes of “making the team” next season.

“I wanted to train really hard for it so I could have a chance to make it,” he said.

The final game of the camp, Palermo insisted with a smile, ended in a tie.

Ultimate Stride is based in the Don Valley Parkway and Lawrence Avenue East area, but Palermo said he is looking to expand to Leaside Arena this year. He also runs camps during the Christmas holidays and over the summer, something he says he loves to do.

“We have fun with [the kids],” he said. “We work hard, and we have a fun game at the end.”


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Posted: Mar 20 2015 5:22 pm
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Edition: Toronto
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