Burns Lake Pitbulls players are, back row, Susan Joseph, Tsayta Bayes and Hailey Crouse. In the front is Amy Hanson. That tournament trophy replica of the Stanley Cup is made out of candy bars. (Contributed photo)

Burns Lake Pitbulls players are, back row, Susan Joseph, Tsayta Bayes and Hailey Crouse. In the front is Amy Hanson. That tournament trophy replica of the Stanley Cup is made out of candy bars. (Contributed photo)

Northwestern B.C. girls sweep Calgary hockey tournament

The Pitbulls come from many communities in the region from Fraser Lake to Kitimat

A hockey team of U-18 girls from across the northwest has returned home with a gold medal from their sweep of a prestigious Calgary tournament.

The North West District Pitbulls won all three games by convincing scores in the 16-team Sizzle Sticks tournament held Dec. 2 to Dec. 4. It was the first time the team entered the tournament.

Now in its sixth year, the team is made up of players stretching from Fraser Lake west along Hwy 16 and south to Kitimat.

“It requires countless hours of organizing and volunteer hours,” said team manager Crystal Fisher of Burns Lake. “Luckily, we have the absolute best hockey family and we all work together.”

The route to gold in Calgary began with an 8-1 win over a team from Calgary called the Flames on Dec. 2, a 4-1 victory over the Scorch, another team from Calgary, on Dec. 3 and a 5-0 victory over a team from Okotoks, Alberta on Dec. 4.

Hailey Crouse from Burns Lake scored two goals in the final game and was also singled out for recognition for her sportsmanship.

The winning Sizzle Sticks team gets to choose a charity to receive a $250 cheque and the Pitbulls chose the Canadian Breast Cancer Society.

The Pitbulls make up a female northern league along with teams from Prince George, Williams Lake and northeastern B.C.

Fisher said the Pitbulls attend between three and five away tournaments a year in addition to four weekends playing teams within the female northern league.

The team won’t be hosting a tournament this year but Burns Lake is the location in January of a home league weekend.

“We stay in contact over team snap and the girls have done an awesome job at creating group chats etc. over social media so that communication is always constant,” said Fisher of the spread-out player and support staff contingent.

To attend B.C. provincials each year, a bus typically starts out from Terrace, picking up players and support staff along the way.

But for other tournaments, depending upon hometowns, players and staff will fly or undertake 13 to 18 hour road journeys each way, said Fisher.

The team tries to meet once a month at rotating locations for a full-roster practice while also holding smaller practices in hub communities once or twice a week.

Below is the team roster.

Skaters:

#7 Devyn Molloy (C) – Kitimat

#10 Lucy Woodburn-Elliot – Terrace

#9 Tatum Jack (AC) – Gitanmaax

#6 Molly Pierre-Jack – Gitanmaax

#5 Esther (Mya) Pierre-Jack – Gitanmaax

#12 Ava Starr – New Hazelton

#18 Kierra Starr – New Hazelton

#11 Maryn Sullivan (AC) – Houston

#17 Claire Sullivan – Houston

#4 Tsayta Bayes – Burns Lake

#13 Hailey Crouse – Burns Lake

#14 Susan Joseph – Burns Lake

#29 Amy Hanson – Burns Lake

#3 Jaylia Sanderson – Fraser Lake

#8 Raelysa Sanderson – Fraser Lake

#16 Dakota Magnus (AC) – Fraser Lake

Affiliated player – Miica Clegg – Smithers/Houston

Affiliated player – Emma-Reese Lewis – Smithers

Affiliated player – Dorothea Lewis – Smithers

Goalies:

#30 Emma Williamson – Fraser Lake

#1 Emma Garcia – Smithers

#1 Taylor Rutter – Houston

Benchstaff:

Head Coach – Kyle Magnus – Fraser Lake

Assistant Coach – Justin Cradock – Burns Lake

Assistant Coach – John Sullivan – Houston

Assistant Coach – Ryneld Starr – New Hazelton

Hockey Canada Safety – Steven Bayes – Burns Lake

Manager – Crystal Fisher – Burns Lake

Assistant Manager – Jasmine Pierre – Gitanmaax

Player Development & Support – Wes Hart/Plan B Hockey- Burns Lake

Player Development & Support — Jeremy

North West District Female Coordinator-Lee Holland-Prince George

 

Thanks to three convincing wins, the North West District Pitbulls U-18 girls hockey team won gold at a Calgary hockey tournament. (Contributed photo)
Hailey Crouse from Burns Lake was singled out for her sportsmanship in the final game that clinched a Calgary hockey tournament win for her North West District Pitbulls U-18 girls team. (Contributed photo)

Thanks to three convincing wins, the North West District Pitbulls U-18 girls hockey team won gold at a Calgary hockey tournament. (Contributed photo) Hailey Crouse from Burns Lake was singled out for her sportsmanship in the final game that clinched a Calgary hockey tournament win for her North West District Pitbulls U-18 girls team. (Contributed photo)

Thanks to three convincing wins, the North West Pitbulls u-18 girls hockey team won gold at a Calgary hockey tournament. (Contributed photo)

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