How would someone describe the No. 1 hockey family in Regina, Sask.? As a family that is involved in hockey from morning to night, almost all year long. A family that relishes competition. A family named Mitchell.
The Mitchell family begins a typical day with dad Glynn waking up son Garrett and daughter Nicole, while mom Linda makes pancakes. After 7 a.m. practices, it’s off to school followed by practices or games on evenings and weekends.
Arranging time to meet with the Mitchell family to talk about hockey proved to be a challenge. Why? Well, between Nicole’s game in Swift Current and Garrett’s game with in Saskatoon, there were also two golden Olympic hockey games to watch at home.
When asked who likes hockey the most, everyone fell silent, glancing from back and forth at each other, a competitive smile on each Mitchell face.
Glynn spoke first, diplomatically saying that everyone is passionate about the family sport.
Both Garrett and Nicole play a fairly high level of hockey. Garrett just wrapped up his season with the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats, and is now off to join the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears on an amateur tryout contract, while Nicole plays for the Regina Rebels of the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League – host team of the 2010 Esso Cup.
Linda also participated in the sport, until a second knee surgery forced her to take a break. Glynn still hits the ice regularly in a recreational league. While the four Mitchells don’t have an opportunity to play hockey together, according to Glynn, everything they do is competitive, whether they’re playing ping pong in the basement or fishing up north at the family cabin.
The Mitchells, and many other families involved with Hockey Regina, are busy getting ready to help host this year’s Esso Cup, Canada’s National Female Midget Championship.
Nicole is looking forward to seeing high-level female hockey at home in Regina. She hopes that the Olympic gold medal won by Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C. will inspire more young girls to lace up their skates, pick up a stick and step onto the ice.
The Esso Cup will also give the female game’s future stars a chance to see older girls play a high level of hockey.
Meanwhile, what will Garrett be doing while his sister is on the ice at the Esso Cup? If he’s not still with the Bears, he’ll be volunteering at the event, because in the Mitchell family, hockey is always a family affair.