Nipawin Hawks focus on hockey as they try to heal

NIPAWIN — The Nipawin Hawks have been trying to process last week’s events by concentrating on their favourite sport.

“We’ve just been on the ice, trying to prepare and heal and get ready for the finals,” said Doug Johnson, the Hawks’ head coach, as he explained what the team’s been doing this week.

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The coach said the team was practising Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and today as they prepare to compete against Estevan for the Canalta Cup. The first game of the series begins in Nipawin April 14 at 7:30 p.m.

“We feel we’re physically as ready as we can be,” Johnson said. “We’re getting guys back from injury. Guys that have been injured and won’t be back Game 1 will probably be back Game 3. Things like that are positive.”

Chris Beaudry, the Humboldt Broncos’ assistant coach, has attended some of the practices this week.

“He’s going to come when he can make it. It was good that he came out once and it was good for our guys. Hopefully it was good for him. It’s just trying to help the healing process,” he said. “From a hockey guy, it adds a different perspective to things, which is nice.”

The team has also been working to recover mentally. On Wednesday, they went to the Resort Village of Tobin Lake for a steak supper.

“We took a bus out there just to get the guys on the bus. [We’re doing] little things like that, just making sure we’re ready for anything that we may encounter,” Johnson said. “I don’t think we’re prepared for everything, but we’re trying to be.”

As for how the series is going to go, Johnson said once a team makes it to that level, it’s hard to know how things will go.

“There’s two good teams – and then you add everything else, the emotions and everything on top of it. You never know what’s really going to happen,” he said. “We’ve played them hard all year and we expect nothing different.”

The coach said the first game will feature a small tribute and a moment of silence.

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