Hockey season is on track to start league play in November

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With remodeling almost complete at the ice arena at Loudy-Simpson Park in Craig, the 1999-2000 hockey season and the Craig adult hockey leagues are preparing for play.

Three adult hockey teams will share ice time at the arena. They are the Red Dogs, the competitive team, the men's novice team, and a women's hockey team.

Both the Red Dogs and the novice team each have about 20 players and are sanctioned by USA Hockey.

Since 1997, Craig has also been the home of a women's team.

According to team member Charlene Holmberg, the team is always looking for new recruits with no experience necessary.

The women's team has been invited to join a league with teams from Aspen, Vail and Breckenridge, but is unable to participate because of a lack of players.

Players hope to change that this season.

The ice arena at Loudy-Simpson has been undergoing major changes these past few months.

A new refrigeration system is being installed that will lengthen the skating season. Steve Grandbouche is in charge of refurbishing the arena and is always looking for volunteers to help. Grandbouche believes the rink will be open in mid-November.

With a refurbished rink and greater support in the area, hockey participation is looking up.

"Once upon a time there was nothing," said Tom Nagoda, Red Dogs coordinator and player. "Now, we have progressed to between 60 and 80 players and we have a lot of fun."

The Red Dogs play between 10 and 15 games which are almost always on weekends.

Ice time is reserved for the Red Dogs each Sunday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and each Tuesday and Thursday from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

All leagues are classified as recreational, non-checking leagues and the Red Dogs are slated to compete in at least two tournaments this year.

According to Nagoda, the team will host an invitational tournament in Craig.

Members will also trek to Rock Springs, Wyo., to compete in a tournament along with other teams from Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Idaho.

Nagoda wants every adult interested in playing on a men's hockey team, regardless of skill level, to attend a meeting on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Moffat County High School cafeteria.

For more information on the women's team call Holmberg at 824-7800 or Terry Doherty at 824-6795.

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