They say a cat in gloves catches no mice. How about hockey gloves?
The Cat Women team fought back from a goal down to win the final of the fifth annual Women’s Hockey Jamboree on Friday and Saturday at Takhini Arena.
The clowder crew downed the previously undefeated Black Widows 4-1 in the final of the tournament hosted by the Whitehorse Women’s Hockey Association.
“The league puts on this jamboree,” said WWHA president and Wonder Women player Joelle Hodgins. “This is the only tournament we put on. There’s the Rendezvous tournament that the men’s rec league puts on and there’s a Dawson tournament, Haines Junction tournament, a Juneau tournament and all those. But this one is ours. It’s a big deal for us.”
After an early Black Widow goal, Cat Women Talyce Henkel and Jocelyn Barrett both scored in the first period.
Teammate Sasha Merrell then sniped two goals in the third period to seal the deal. Merrell went on to take her team’s MVP with a total of six goals and three assists in the tournament.
Stacey Bowden was in net for the Cats, playing her fifth game of the day after filling in a couple games.
“She’s amazing, we got lucking having that goalie,” said Cat Women captain Veronique Theriault.
Stacey Zaychuk scored for the Black Widows, assisted by Dana Van Vliet, in the final.
The Black Widows had a mother-daughter tie in the MVP department with Cheryl and Chantelle Rivest each compiling five goals and four assists.
The Wonder Women lassoed third place in another 4-1 battle, topping last place’s Atomic Betties.
Scoring for Wonder Women were Jennifer King, Coralie Ullyett with two, and Alyssa Beckett with the game-winner.
Ullyett was named her team’s MVP with three goals in the tournament.
Betties’ Laura Grieve scored the one goal in the bronze game, assisted by Jonnie-Lyn Kushniruk and Ashtyn Sandulak.
Grieve won the MVP letters with two goals and two assists throughout the tournament.
Most Sportsmanlike awards were given to Cat Women’s Stacey Bowden, Black Widows’ Maralyn Rogers, Wonder Women’s Liz Eddy and Atomic Betties’ Maya Oakley.
Most Outrageous Player awards – introduced this year – went to Cat Women’s Kirsti Muller, Black Widows’ Christine Blodgett, Wonder Women’s Guin Lalena and Atomic Betties’ Vanessa Bogaert.
This year’s tournament featured 56 players on four teams, all assembled for the tournament using a player-rating system to balance them out. The tournament included players from Whitehorse, Haines Junction and Dawson City.
The WWHA has some big plans on the horizon.
The league, which is now made up of seven teams, hopes to assemble and send three teams to a tournament in Calgary following their playoffs.
The league is also hoping to recruit local businesses to sponsor teams that will take the name of the businesses next season.
“We’ve never done that before,” Hodgins. “That’s a big difference from the past. So a specific sponsor will sponsor that team for the year and they’ll have name badges on the jerseys.”
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