Our EPIC Novice House League Adventure, News (Owen Sound Girls Hockey)

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Our EPIC Novice House League Adventure
Submitted By Laura Vandrunen on Tuesday, April 7, 2015
On Easter weekend, Owen Sound Girls' Hockey's very first Novice House League team travelled to Brampton to join 342 other girls' hockey teams in the 48th Annual Brampton Canadettes Easter Tournament!!

Since last fall, a great group of 6-9 year old girls have practiced hard in preparation for this EPIC adventure.  This tournament claims to be the largest girls' hockey tournament in the world; hosting almost 7,000 girls from Novice HL to Midget AA!

Nerves were running high as our Novice HL Ice Hawks prepared to play their first game as a team.  We faced off against a very strong team from Smith's Falls.  The resulting score seemed more one-sided than the play would suggest.  This was thanks, in part, to the outstanding goaltending of Alexa Todd.  She saved close to 40 shots against a team with some very powerful shooters to earn the game MVP.  Maya Beirnes' great defensive work was also a huge asset to our team.  She displayed qualities of a true leader, listened well to her coaches and will definitely continue to be a leader for our team in the future! Alexis Stephenson was strong along the boards in the neutral zone and helped to get the puck up the boards and down the ice.  This girl always works hard at practices and it showed in this game!  Although quiet, she loves to joke around, is a great teammate and kid to coach!  Leisl Stata showed courage and commitment to her team when she showed up to play even though she wasn't feeling well.  She decided it was best to go home after the first game, and Coach Brett missed the strong work ethic that she always displays in our practices. 

The girls had a fun night in the hotel and were ready to go for their second game of the tournament against a strong team from Kapuskasing.  Our victories were numerous, but did not show on the score board this time!  Tessa Linklater won some fantastic puck battles and made the dressing room rock with her great sense of humour.  Sarah Cowan was skating so fast the ref checked her skates for rockets.  She was a very hard worker in all zones and a quiet leader for her teammates.

After the second game the girls maintained their post-game energy with an Easter egg hunt. In spite of all of the chocolate, these girls came out for game three with all cylinders firing to play a team from Almaguin.  Shailan Miller, the smallest and youngest on our team at age 6, had some great moments in the last game.  She carried the puck for small distances and put a lot of pressure on the other team.  Sarah VanDrunen kept getting stronger with each game.  She showed she could play different positions well and her confidence shone through while carrying the puck multiple times from her goal line deep into neutral zone.  Coach Brett loves Sarah's attitude, sportsmanship, and how playing hockey makes her smile! 

Our team's Captain, Marissa Rouse, exhibited very solid defensive work, pushing the puck down the ice and skating hard to chase it.  She created a lot of opportunities for herself and her team, and displayed amazing leadership skills on and off the ice.  In the third period, Marissa scored a historic first Novice HL goal with only 4 minutes remaining in the game!  Using amazing speed while carrying the puck, Zoe Beaupre earned an assist on this historic goal.  She played with tremendous effort through the whole season, and her love of the game was evident each time she stepped on the ice. 

Small and mighty, River Emonts showed tremendous improvement with being aggressive on the puck.  She made a huge back-checking play with 3 minutes to go when both of our defense were lying on the ice.  River definitely saved the day!  One of the game highlights occurred when River fell behind our opponent's net.  Her stick and gloves flew in different directions, and the very kind #16 Almaguin player picked up her stick and returned it to her! 

With 18 seconds remaining in the game, Elise Nair scored a big goal to tie the game 2-2!  The girls and their fans were ecstatic with their tie!  Elise's excellent back-checking and speed was a huge help to our defensive core.  Her sportsmanship and sense of humour make Elise a great teammate!

Game #3 MVP went to Hannah Lang, who applied great pressure by pursuing the puck!  She was a fantastic assistant captain and we wish her all of the best next year in the Atom Ice Hawks program!

Even though we had an amazing time on our first team road-trip, we still missed our teammates Reece Harwood, Brooke Thomas, Alissa Negus, and Mikaela Humphries.  We hope they will return next season to enjoy an even better Ice Hawks Novice Development Program!!


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