The Ecofish Whalers women’s hockey team were a bit shocked to see a yellow helmet warming up with the opposition on Saturday night when they showed up for their game against the Comox Valley Breakers.
“Kayla Novelli used to be on our side and still is but due to her work schedule, isn’t able to play full time with the Whalers this year which means she is often up for grabs when other teams need players,” a Whalers’ spokesperson said. “So she played for the Breakers. “Regardless of the fact that blue isn’t really her colour, she played with class and poise.”
The Breakers didn’t only show up with a strong lineup of players, they came on strong as soon as the puck dropped. For the Whalers, many of whom are still learning the game, this was very nerve-racking. The pace is faster, the skills are better, the shots are harder and the plays on the board are tougher.
“But what better way to improve and work on your game?” the spokesperson said. “OK sometimes, it’s better to let them take the puck than to risk losing your head, but for the most part, the game was played fair and clean. Alright, there were a few questionable moments from both sides, but who says girls can’t play a little rough!”
Despite the fact she almost got frost bite on her face from a close encounter with the ice, captain Tera Kasubuchi (Whistle Stop Pub) was satisfied with the team’s performance. “We knew the game was going to be a tough one and we had set some goals at the beginning of the game. We battled for every puck, we backchecked, we worked on our breakout and we made sure we had fun.”
Rookie goalie Katrin Bizier (Vancouver Island InsuranCentres) had her fair share of action. She made her first save within the first couple of minutes of the game and once again, it was a breath-taking glove snag.
“There were a couple of goals in the first period that she would like to take back, but overall, she kept getting better and better with each period and definitely made a difference in the final 6-1 score with some some phenomenal saves,” the Courtenay Whalers’ spokesperson said.
Emily Murray tallied the lone goal for the Whalers on a shot from the point while Josée Bureau and Jan Dafoe (Canadian Western Bank) had a few close ones but were unable to put it past the Breakers’ goalie, who had a great game. Sky Zimmerman (Brian McLean) and Kasubuchi raised their physical game to match the demand and were pretty spectacular, winning their fair share of one-on-one battles on the boards.
“Our team plays well as a team. We have a range of experience levels and a lot of us are very competitive even if we are still learning the game,” Bureau said. “Losing is always a bit hard but it is so nice to see everyone stay calm and composed, something I had to learn.
“No one ever loses their temper. We remain positive with each other. That’s what makes our team such a fun team to play with,” Bureau added.
ICE CHIPS The team extends a bouquet of flowers to the Ecofish Research Ltd. for their wonderful support …
– Ecofish Whalers