The North Island Edge Bantam A Female team attended the Wickenheiser Women’s International Hockey Festival 2011 in Burnaby last weekend. It was a successful tournament, with five games, five wins, four shutouts and only one goal against the whole weekend.
The final was against the Burnaby Wildcats. With no score by either team in the first, it was two minutes into the second period when Paige Chapdelaine put the first score on the board. The Wildcats fought back hard but goalie Maya Gaudry was on her game with the defence and forward lines supporting her all the way.
With one minute to go both teams were battling with all they had. Burnaby pulled their goalie hoping to tie the game with the sixth man, but the puck got loose at the red line and Kyla Squire scored an empty-netter with five seconds to go to secure the win. It was even more special when Haley Wickenheiser herself, came out on the ice to congratulate the girls and present them with their award. The North Island Bantam team consists of three girls from Nanaimo: April Turnbull, Makayla Seltenrich, Maya Gaudry; five from Parksville: Sara Murray, Robynn Olson, Erin Pickup, Elizabeth Goodman, Kyla Squire; three from the Comox Valley: Jill Franceschini, Jasna Ramsden-Morelli, Jessica MacLean, five from Campbell River: Tara Dickson, Talia Boschman, Megan Grant, Lisa Lloyd , Paige Chapdelaine and two from Gold River: Taylor Rose and Briana Vandenberg.
The girls have quickly bonded and it shows out on the ice as they continue to improve and get stronger, a team spokesperson said. “Our three coaches, one from Nanaimo and two from Parksville, have been working hard with the girls teaching them new drills, stressing the importance of strength and speed off-ice training and showing them that they can do anything with perseverance.
“We would like to thank our new team sponsor, Ironwood Shake & Tile Ltd. out of Courtenay for their generous support. We look forward to representing them; look for our jersey sponsor bars and banner at the bench during games and tournaments, and representing female hockey this season.”
Next weekend the girls are travelling to Kamloops to participate in the Female Bantam Tier 1 tournament against teams from Red Deer, Surrey and the Kootenays to name a few. This weekend they play in Powell River (weather permitting) and Parksville. In December theye will travel to Port Alberni, Comox Valley and Parksville again.
This year the U16 takes place in Parksville on Dec. 30-31 giving each girl ages 13 and 14 an opportunity to be part of the Vancouver Island Zone team and participate in the 2012 BC Winter Games held at Vernon in February.
Next year, March 18-22, the Female Bantam A Provincials will be held on Vancouver Island. Location is TBA but is proposed to be in the Mid-Island area.
“The two female teams, South Island Royals and North Island Edge, will be teaming up to present an awesome week of hockey for those playing and those showing their support in the stands,” the spokesperson said. “Updates will follow in future articles, so stay tuned. Thank you for your support and let the games continue.”