Half of the BC Winter Games northwest zone ringette team roster is made up of Terrace players, with nine teammates heading to Mission at the end of the month to compete with the best in the province.
The other nine players are from Houston – and all 18 are used to sharing the ice in regular season play, either as competitors, or for some, as teammates on the northern AA team.
The team has really come together, agree coaches Jacque Dahl and Mike Giesbrecht, and since the roster has been solidified since October, they’ve had plenty of time to get excited about the games.
“The kids are all really easy going and they seem to really get along, and they’re all so excited about going to the winter games,” said Dahl, who competed at the winter games in ringette in ‘90 and ‘91.
“I have lots of good memories of it,” she said.
Now the northwest players are set to make their own memories, with it being the first games ever for all of the players, and for many their first big tournament experience.
“For some of the girls that play AA they’re more used to it, but for the ones that haven’t yet, it’ll be really mindblowing how big the tournament is, how good the competition is. They’ve only seen the inter-league play, they haven’t seen how really good some ringette can be,” said Giesbrecht.
“It’s actually pretty exciting to just go down and watch some of the other teams too,” adds Dahl. “Some of the teams they’re picking their teams from pools of 120 players… It’s phenomenal play.”
The team arrives in Mission on Feb. 19, practises the next day and then faces off against the Quesnel/Prince George zone on Feb. 21 – a team they’ve played against and one of the teams they expect to be competitive with.
“There are teams we’ll be competitive with, which is nice,” said Dahl. “We have some really valuable players, both in offence and defence, we have two goalies, which is nice, who are both strong. And it’s nice to go down with a full roster,” she said, noting that two years ago the team she took down had a roster of nine.
“We’ve got a really good mix of players, and we’ve got a couple of younger girls we’re taking along with us as well who will benefit from the experience,” she said.