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New leadership, new players join Elk Point Elks

ELK POINT - Elk Point Elks opened their 2023-24 season with a salute to the leadership of the past.

ELK POINT - Elk Point Elks opened their 2023-24 season with a salute to the leadership of the past. Murray and Wanda Cochrane were thanked for their nine years with the Elks, with Dean Rogal, who leads the new crew, saying he has “big shoes to fill. We hope to do them proud. There might be some growing pains, but they left us with a well-oiled machine.”

With Murray Cochrane unable to be at the game, wife Wanda officiated at a ceremonial puck drop for the new administration and the new hockey season.

This was the first game of the season for the SaskAlta Hockey League, which will also have new leadership this year, after the untimely passing of president Rod Boutin on Oct. 9 at the age of 55. His passing was recognized with a moment of silence prior to the start of the game.

The Elks, who have a number of new players on the roster, including a number of Elk Point Avalanche alumni, and a new coach, Gerry Kjenner, had a challenging start to the season as they took on last year’s champion Lashburn Flyers.

The Elks were first on the scoreboard, veteran Orrie Wood assisted by newcomers Cole Bendixen and Bowen Krider just over four and a half minutes into the game, but the visitors would rack up a trio of points before Kyle Kjenner added his first of the game off assists by Ethan Peake and Arron Gagne with seven and a half minutes left in the period.

Lashburn would add two more in the second frame, with both teams making multiple trips to the penalty boxes. The Elks would add two more just over a minute apart in the third, the first of those by Wood, unassisted, and the second by Kjenner, assisted by Dyson Roy and Gagne, with Lashburn answering back five goals, three of them within 23 seconds for an 11-4 win. The Elks will not meet Lashburn again until their final game of the regular season, on Jan. 27.

The Elks have eight more home games and nine away games in the regular season, with their next two games on the road in a double header, playing in Wainwright next Friday and in Vermilion next Saturday, both with an 8 p.m. start. Their next home game is on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 3:30 p.m. against Meadow Lake, their only afternoon home game of the season.

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