MEI to open hockey academy

Mennonite Educational Institute is getting into the game of hockey.

The Abbotsford school has announced its intention to open a hockey academy for the 2013-14 school year.

In partnership with local coach Peter Hay, MEI will provide participating students in Grades 2 through 12 with approximately 75 on-ice sessions (half that number for the youngest students) as well as an extensive off-ice program.

"We've had a number of people asking us about hockey for years, and we've looked at a number of different academy options," said MEI Middle School vice-principal Jeff Gamache, who helped develop the program. "A big part of it for us was finding the right person, and Peter Hay is a great guy."

Hay, an Abbotsford native who played Junior A, NCAA Div. 1, AHL and ECHL hockey, has coached with the WHL's Chilliwack Bruins and has developed his own hockey training program. He will partner with Ralph Vos Jr., who also has extensive hockey training experience.

The program will welcome male and female players who have already been participating in organized hockey.

"It's a program that will run before or after school, depending on the age group," Gamache said. "We really believe strongly that we have a great school experience here for kids of all ages, and we didn't want to take away from that."

An information evening is scheduled for Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. at MEI Secondary, with registrations accepted from Feb. 19 to 26. More information is available at

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