Northern female hockey players make history

Northern female hockey players made history last weekend, taking the championship at the 2013 Female U16 BC Cup

Northern female hockey players made history last weekend, taking the championship at the 2013 Female U16 BC Cup.

“I must say what an amazing year,” said Terrace coach Mario Desjardins, who barely had time to process his team winning provincials last month before heading to the U16 tournament as part of the team North coaching entourage.

Girls from the area including 100 Mile House to Prince Rupert and as far north as Chetwynde, including Prince George made up team North, the team’s 18 players and two goalies selected at tryouts in January, for the tournament, held in Duncan April 4 – 7 that featured the best 13-16 year old players in BC with 120 female players in total.

Six zones participated: one team each from the North, Kootenay, Okanogan, and Vancouver Island regions, and two teams from the Lower Mainland.

Terrace players included goalie Meghan Pritchett, defenseman Deborah Wraight and center man Sage Desjardins, as well as goalie Kelsey Roberts from Kitimat.

“I had a total of eight players from my provincial team make the U16 North team,” said Desjardins.

As is typically the case with these tournaments, the two Vancouver teams were favoured to win heading into the weekend.

But the North came out strong, beating Kootenay 3-1 in the first game, and winning against Island 3-1 in the second game.

“The way the two pools were made up we had to play the Island again, and won 4-1,” he said.

The team then won against Vancouver Blue in a shootout, 2-1, in the semi-final matchup, heading into the finals against the other Vancouver team, Green. No shootout necessary in that game, as the North won 2-1 in regulation time, finishing the tournament with a 5-0 record and coming home with gold.

“It’s the first time in the history of the BC Cup that not only did team North win more than just one game, but went 5-0 to win the BC Cup,” said Desjardins.

“Female hockey is getting strong and competitive in the north and producing some talented players,” he said, noting that in the last two years north area teams have placed—and won—provincials, Prince George first last year, with Terrace second, and Terrace first this year.