Bienfait Minor Hockey is excited about changes for the upcoming season.

There will be a U11 age group for the first time in a while. Kids looking to get into hockey, but haven't done much skating, will be able to catch a gear in new learn-to-skate programs. And the new practice schedule should make life easier for parents.

Bienfait Minor Hockey President Jesse Juneau said this is the first time in a couple years they'll have a U11 team.

The organization is also looking to hire someone to teach their learn-to-skate program.

"The learn to skate is basically players, their first time on skates," said Juneau. "They're looking to play hockey, but they're just not sure about their skating level. Put them in Learn to Skate, and hopefully by the following year they'll be in hockey."

Juneau said they're moving practices to Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting with U7, then going to U9, and finishing with U11s.

"That'll be convenient with families with multiple hockey players, so they're not in the rink five days a week."

Registration numbers were down last year amid COVID-19-related uncertainty. But Juneau hopes more kids will be back on the ice this fall.

He said they had around 19 kids playing U7 hockey before the pandemic, and 12 to 13 in U9. He's thinking they'll get to around nine or 10 on the U11 team.

Registration is open until mid-September, with the season likely kicking off in mid-October. 

Juneau said they're looking for more coaches - more are allowed than last season, with COVID-19 restrictions being lifted - and more refs.