With players from Haines Junction and Dawson in the lineup, team Dynamite downed the Avalanche 5-3 in the finals of the first ever Whitehorse Women’s International Jamboree on Sunday at Takhini Arena.
However, the win was not the end result of being a closeknit team with years of experience playing together – quite the opposite.
Instead of entering a full team in the jamboree, players signed up individually, stating their skill level. Taking into account the skill levels of the roughly 45 women who registered, organizers created four teams, spreading out the talent as best as possible.
“We know some of the girls from the (Whitehorse women’s hockey) league, but a lot of the other girls we don’t know who they are,” said Avalanche forward Lily Gontard. “Like (Dynamite’s) Talyce Henkel, five-foot nothing, and so freakin’ fast – she’s amazing.”
The Avalanche twice tied the game in the first, but fell behind by two goals as Dynamite scored just seconds into the second period, taking a 4-2 lead.
“It was a close game – especially in the first period – so it made us rise to the occasion and give it everything we had,” said Dynamite forward Lindy Jo Aston. “We had to be smart, play man-to-man and keep on top of their top players.”
Scoring for Dynamite were Janice Millington, Pam Morrissey, Talyce Henkel and Julia Gemsjaeger with two.
For the Avalanche Tanya Ordish opened the scoring and Cheryl Rivest put in the next two.
Undefeated in the tournament, Dynamite produced a more decisive victory over the Avalanche in the round robin on Saturday, winning 8-4.
“Yesterday we were on our second game and we had started at eight in the morning, so we were pretty tired,” said Gontard. “We had a OK night’s sleep, so we weren’t as tired as we were yesterday and I think we were just going for it, playing hard because yesterday they played really hard.”
Although the use of the word “international” in the name of the event may have been a little premature, with only Yukoners in the lineups, organizers like Gontard hope next year’s jamboree will attract players from beyond the borders of the territory.
“We had a few people drop out because their kids are sick, but we had a really good turnout,” said Gontard. “It ran really smoothly and everyone had a really good time so we’re going to do it again next year. Hopefully we’ll get more people from Watson Lake, Teslin, Juneau and Fort Saint John. It was American Thanksgiving so they couldn’t come up, but we’re going to try and expand and get some Alaskans up.
“We even had interest from gals in Vancouver, so maybe next year we’ll have some of them.”
“It was well organized, a lot of fun and people should come out and watch,” added Aston.
In the battle for third, the Chaos team defeated the Blizzard 7-1.
Contact Tom Patrick at