Terrace girls get ready, set for BC Winter Games
With the BC Winter Games fast approaching, the roster for the northwest zone's U16 female hockey team has been finalized, and four Terrace players are ready to represent the northwest in Mission next month.
Myah Bowal, Jacey Neid, Cassidy Broughton, and Tegan Dejong will join teammates from Prince Rupert, Smithers, Stewart, Fort St. James, and even Dease Lake to fight against teams from all over the province at the end of February.
The competition is, as usual, expected to be tough but coach Brad Andersen is hoping for some close games and aggressive play from the northwest team.
“If they play the way they can play, I think we'll do okay,” he said. “I've got some really good aggressive girls.”
The high performance camp to determine the roster was held Jan. 4 at the Terrace Sportsplex.
Coach Andersen – who is in his first year with BC Hockey's high performance program – and BC Hockey representative Chantal Tom helped to lead the session, which saw 13 of the 14 players who will make up the team spend a full day training, playing, and bonding together – a crucial gathering as the team will only be able to practise as a full team right before the competition.
“It went good,” said Andersen, of the camp. “There was just the right amount of girls that we didn't have to break any hearts... I was impressed with the amount of kids who did show up, their parents’ commitment to driving them from Dease Lake, Stewart, Fort St. James, that's pretty awesome.”
And the camp wasn't easy – the girls were at the rink at 7 a.m. (with a no phones until 8 p.m. rule) and after a morning of drills and evaluations, they had a quick lunch before dry-land training and more fitness tests before another meal together.
Later in the day, they played against one of Terrace Minor Hockey's Peewee house teams – which Andersen said is when the team really started to come together and show what they could do.
The fact that they were together getting to know each other, and clicking all day long “really showed in their game play,” he said.
“With just being put together like that, they showed excellent team play, having them together and bonding was pretty important I think... the kids really showed positional, they made lots of nice passes, I was pretty impressed.”
The team won't practise again in full until the day before they fly out of Smithers before the games begin on Feb. 20, and then they'll have a 45-minute practice once they get to the Winter Games arena, so it's important that the team members get in as much practise with their home leagues as possible, said Andersen.