Submitted by Neepawa Natives
Neepawa Natives forward, Ashton Anderson, recently played for Team Manitoba at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC). He had a successful tournament with one goal and six assists. His team paralleled that success by winning all of their round robin games before falling to the eventual champion, Saskatchewan, in the semifinals. Ashton played an important role on the club, by leading his club in points in the playoff round while playing key minutes throughout the tournament.
The NAHC is a tournament is an annual event since 2002 that gathers elite Aboriginal hockey players throughout the country. The event has garnered much success as former NHLers such as Carey Price have been involved with NAHC championships in the past. The NAHC provide a forum for elite Midget aged Aboriginal hockey players, which attracts participation from First Nations, Inuit, and Métis within each of the thirteen Provinces and Territories of Canada.
When asked about his time at the championship Ashton replied, “The NAHC in Halifax was a great experience; I met some great people and made some new friends. Unfortunately, we ended up losing in the bronze medal game, but we definitely had the team to win it… we just ran into a couple hot goaltenders.” Aston continued to share his thoughts about how his experience as a Neepawa Native helped him at the national event, “My time with the Natives last season helped me a lot at the tournament, it just felt like I had more time to make plays than I do playing against guys in the MJHL.” “I took on bigger roles at this tournament playing on the power play, and penalty kill. It’s always a great honour representing your province at a national event.”
Neepawa Natives General Manager, Myles Cathcart, suggested it was no surprise how well Anderson did at the national event as he watched Anderson compete at a high level as each and every night. “Ashton is a highly competitive player and is one of the hardest working players in the entire league. He competes each shift and his energy has a way of motivating his teammates.” Cathcart continued, “He has a great skill set and he will continue to develop as he gains more experience at the junior level.” “There was a reason we selected him first overall, teams are built around players of his stature.” The General Manager went on to say, “We are always extremely proud of our players that are able to achieve a higher level, which in this case is Ashton’s recognition at a national event”.
The Manitoba squad featured other MJHLer’s like Linden McCorrister (Swan Valley), Tristan Langan (Swan Valley), and Shane Roulette (Waywayseecappo). The Neepawa Natives would like to extend congratulations to Ashton and the entire Manitoba team, “Ashton is an important player for the Natives as we take the next step with our program,” “We feel that his experience at NAHC will help Ashton to garner more success as a Neepawa Natives in the years to come.”