They got one!

The Halifax Metro Centre roared with excitement Wednesday. Even though the hometown Nova Scotia team was on the ice, the loudest cheers weren't prompted by one of their goals, it came from the Yukon's.


The Halifax Metro Centre roared with excitement Wednesday.

Even though the hometown Nova Scotia team was on the ice, the loudest cheers weren’t prompted by one of their goals, it came from the Yukon’s.

After being shutout in their first three matchups at the Canada Winter Games this week, a fact seemingly known by all in attendance, Yukon’s female hockey team scored their first goal, on their first shot of the game with just 1.9 seconds left in the third period.

At the final buzzer Team Yukon was quite possibly the happiest team ever to lose 12-1.

Nishikawa captures third medal in classic race
Table tennis team tops fellow territory
Boarder ‘hits’ eighth on halfpipe
Hoffman lands eighth in skating


“The girls have been fighting every shift, and we’ve been telling them, keep fighting and something is going to happen – and it did,” said Yukon head coach Louis Bouchard. “I’m so glad they got to experience that.”

The goal scorer, assistant captain Dana van Vliet, couldn’t find the words to describe her thoughts after the game.

“I can’t even explain it, it’s just buzzing,” she said, grinning ear to ear with the treasured puck in her hand.

“There were a lot of smiles and a lot of crying; almost everyone had tears in their eyes,” said van Vliet of the locker room. “We’re all pretty excited now.

“We’re doing great, we’re staying positive the whole time and we’re doing our best.”

Outscored 53-0 over their opening three games against Quebec, Manitoba and New Brunswick, no one expected the Yukon goal, but everyone loved it. Frankly, people wanted Yukon to get one. A volunteer from Halifax in the media room, overwhelmed by emotion, started to cry.

So how did it go in?

“I’m not too sure, I just saw a loose puck sitting there and the goalie was still a little off to the side, so I just tucked it in the corner,” said van Vliet. “I didn’t believe it went in for a little while.”

The goal, which has caused a bit of a media frenzy in Halifax, came when Tamara Greek dumped the puck in the Nova Scotia end with Adrianne Dewhurst digging it out from behind the net to van Vliet, in the right place at the right time to knock it home.

Yukon opened the tournament with a 17-0 loss to Quebec on Sunday, followed by a 19-0 loss to Manitoba Monday and a 17-0 loss to New Brunswick the next day.

Besides the usual reasoning – Yukon has the smallest population base to select a team from and is competing again junior and post-secondary level players – there’s another detail to the story.

The Yukon squad is by far the youngest team in the 18-and-under tournament with an average player age of 14.6. In fact, pumping up the Yukon squad just a minute-and-a-half before the goal was the decision to put back-up goalie Maya Oakley, the youngest player in the tournament at age 12, in net to end the game, taking out starter Jocelyn Wynnyk.

“It’s pretty much the same as scoring a goal, everyone gives her lots of hugs,” said van Vliet. “We’re all pretty proud of her for going out there and doing her best.”

The young Oakley, standing at just five feet and weighting only 45 kilos, is now the only Yukon player to finish a game above zero in the plus/minus scale.

“I was in net, and when they scored a goal I felt super excited,” said Oakley. “Everyone was so emotional and it was a great game.

“Playing here has been amazing; it’s been so much fun.”

Unfortunately, none of that last-minute magic took place on Thursday, as Yukon suffered a fourth shutout, losing 16-0 against Newfoundland/Labrador.

The Yukon team will now take on New Brunswick a second time on Saturday to end the Games.

Contact Tom Patrick at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Copper Ridge resident clears their driveway after a massive over night snowfall in Whitehorse on Nov. 2, 2020. Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the Whitehorse and Haines Junction areas for Jan. 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Winter storm warning for Haines Junction and Whitehorse

Environment Canada says the storm will develop Monday and last until Tuesday

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

Most Read