The Jr. girls team had the opportunity to interact and take a photo with Hayley Wickenheiser. Starting with the goalie: Emma Williamson, Raelyssa Sanderson, Audrey Luggi, Emily Boyd, Arley Funk, Rachel Hoy, McKenna Loewen, Claire Cail, Lauren Baker, Sienna Macleod, Kiah Thiessen-Clark, Sarah Prestmo, Jillian Boon, Maci Kadonaga, Kate Thiessen-Clark, Taylor Siemens, and Braylee McAndrews. Missing from the photo — Greta Saharchuk. (Photo a courtesy of Tori Silver)

Vanderhoof’s junior girls hockey team bring home the gold

Local teams participated at Wickfest in Surrey earlier this month

The junior girls team from Vanderhoof has brought home gold from the Wickfest tournament held in Surrey earlier this month.

The girls team which includes some atoms and mostly peewees, went up against four other teams in their pool from Surrey, Jasper, Burnaby and the Tri-Cities.

Shane Baker, head coach said the team went undefeated, and in their finals Vanderhoof went up against Surrey and won 4 – 2.

In their first game, the junior girls went up against Jasper and won 2 – 1. In the second and third game, the local team played Burnaby and Tri-Cities respectively and defeated both of them 8 – 0.

“Our defense is our strength,” says Baker.

“The girls are great at working together to stop other team’s scoring chances,” he added.

The team also attended several workshops during Wickfest including — JOGA, a yoga session designed for athletes; Tragedy and Triump, Q & A sessin with Humboldt Bus Survivor Ryan Straschnitzki; Self-Defence and Empowerment, a martial arts session teaching girls self-defense; and lastly a talk with Meaghan Augusto, member of Canada’s national female hockey team.

“These are important as they are aimed at increasing the confidence and/or inspiring young female athletes to pursue their athletic dreams and goals. These workshops are what separate Wickfest from other tournaments we attend,” Baker said.

The next game for the girls is on Feb. 23 in Vanderhoof.

The junior girls team which comprises of players from Fraser Lake, Fort St. James and Vanderhoof has had a great season, with 16 wins, three losses and a tie.

In terms of areas of improvement, Baker said the team is working on their ability to generate more offence and are focusing on three main areas including “puck possession, quick and accurate passing and generating good quality shots.”

The team practices once a week on Wednesdays and Baker said,” all of the families, but especially girls and their families from Fort St. James and Fraser Lake show great dedication throughout the season in attending practices and games while still meeting the commitments of their home town teams.”

Meanwhile, for the senior girls team, they stood third overall, losing to Kamloops 4 – 0 in their third game. Steve Little, head coach for the team said the local team didn’t play good hockey against Kamloops, but overall in the tournament the girls did well.

The female rep team lost to Taylor on Friday in their first game. They went on to play against Seattle on Saturday afternoon and tied the game 0 – 0. In their last game, the girls went up against Surrey and won 3 – 2.

Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

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