Female Varsity shines in Rockville, Maryland, USA
Our journey began days in advance of getting on the bus, and braving multiple storms. The eminent weather conditions posed a serious threat to our trip; questions of our travel and practice schedule, as well as our ability to make the tournament, loomed over athletes, parents and coaching staff just 24 hours in advance of leaving for Rockville, Maryland, site of the 2017 Junior Women’s Hockey League Challenge Cup.
Our story began with a change in December that has seen this program achieve new heights in development, spirit and interest. The level of commitment that our girls have made to improving themselves as players and teammates since the beginning of the season has always impressed our hockey and educational staff; however, since the holiday break the female program is opening eyes.
Conversation around the girls play started take shape in January as we solidified. Our attitude shifted in P.E.I as we transitioned from a group into a team. Here, individual players demonstrated the value of trust and process, and recognized the results as secondary.
All of this growth came to a head this past weekend in Maryland. It was unclear how the tournament would start. Already down a skater due to illness, leaving us with nine skaters (five forwards, four defence) and two goalies, it could have been a very tough situation for the program to be competitive. The girls have faced a number of adverse situations this year, but this one could have proven to be their undoing. The girls, however, continued to amaze their parents and coach with their commitment and work ethic.
The record for the team during the tournament was an impressive 5 and 0, but that wasn’t all. Following the 1st period of game one, opposition’s parents, tournament staff, game officials and recruiters all approached our parents and coach complimenting our program and how well our girls played together. Each was especially impressed with the structure of team play.
Team Game Summary:
Game 1: VS NAHA Prospects Round Robin win: 5 – 1
Game 2: VS Washington Pride Round Robin win: 4 – 1
Game 3: VS Boston Shamrocks Round Robin win: 6 – 0
Game 4: VS Washington Pride Semi Final win: 3 – 0
Game 5: VS NAHA Prospects Final win: 6 – 0
Looking at the scores, it would indicate that our program may have overmatched the opposition. It should be seen, however, as an evolution of a good team coming together at the right time; believing in the process and knowing the results will come with that trust.
Throughout the weekend, the girls enjoyed cultural pursuits by visiting the White House, the Washington Mall and the Lincoln Memorial. Mixing in numerous study halls to stay on top of their educational commitments and a little shopping made for a very successful weekend. The smiles on their faces say it all, and they should be very proud of their success. Every player hit the score sheet and our goaltenders were very solid throughout the tournament. Their development has been an experience to enjoy.
Many thanks to the parents who were able to be in Rockville to enjoy the success of the girls this weekend, and to parents and classmates following from home and sending well wishes. Special thanks to Mrs. Drake (team manager) for all of her efforts to get the coaching staff on schedule and manage the girls throughout the weekend – she is truly the MVP of our weekend.
It’s been said of any championship run that they are all very special; however, a long time ago a very special coach once said, “Win today and you will walk together forever.” ~ Fred Shero, Philadelphia Flyers. We discussed this after the final, and it is something that fits perfectly with the pioneer spirit of this team. They are very special; a team that started it all for Newbridge Academy Female Hockey.
Weekend Series with the Bantam AA Subway Selects – March 4 & 5, 2017
The Leaside Ladies Classic in Toronto, March 10-12, 2017