It’s the good, the bad, and the ugly with hockey this week.

Let’s start with the ugly. A minor hockey coach is charged with sexual abuse of a teenage girl.

We all know coaches enjoy power and access to kids. While I’m relieved the alleged abuse wasn’t against a young child, abuse is abuse and there’s a line. The law tells us where that line is. The police did their part.

And there’s the good. Minor hockey gives my family great friends, and provides my boys with some fine role models. There’s people like Bruce Ayrton. He’s the minor hockey coach who decided to stage the city’s first outdoor hockey tournament this week. Under the stars, games began Thursday night at the Triwood Community Association.

Dozens of volunteers make that rink possible. Ayrton thought: Why not have a tournament outside? Because of limited ice time, tournaments usually have four teams. But by using the outdoor rink as well, eight teams could be included.

Ice time is expensive. It puts hockey out of reach for many. Ayrton wanted to limit the cost of the tournament and give the kids some fresh air and fun.

The City of Calgary isn’t a fan of financing outdoor ice sheets. Indeed, they are last on the city’s priorities for recreation facilities. But some community volunteers get together, buy boards, get a few hoses and hardy volunteers, and get their outdoor rinks up and running.

Remember, it was legendary Doc Seaman who established an outdoor rink in Black Diamond, south of Calgary, to prove that rinks shouldn’t cost a gazillion dollars. It’s named for his grandson, Scott Seaman.

This year, Hockey Calgary gave Ayrton’s tournament a licence.

Next, some more good. The national women’s hockey team plays Dec. 15 at the Saddledome, and the Canadian junior men Dec 22. Ticketmaster set the prices exactly the same: $15, $20, $25. So our elite women command the same price as the junior men. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but please fill the arena for the women.

Finally, some good and bad. Good: Hockey Calgary is joining with Calgary Immigrant Services to teach hockey to teenage immigrant kids.

Bad: There’s not enough equipment donations for the kids. Please contact Hockey Calgary manager Kirk Reynolds at

After dealing with a coach up on sex assault charges, he could use some good news.

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