Because the Northern Rockies female midget team is based in the small, remote city of Fort St. John, BC, many of the players are recruited throughout the region, and from the Yukon.
This tends to be a problem when it comes to playing other teams that practice together regularly.
“The team is a mix from all over while other girls in the tournament on other teams have been playing a long time together all season,” said Yukoner Angela Burke, who plays forward for the Rockies.
“This is my second tournament playing with this team and I barely know their style … It was hard to mesh.”
Competing in the Female Midget A Provincials in Salmon Arm last week, the Rockies went 2-4, but it might have been worse if not for the Yukoners on the team.
After registering a win and a loss, the Rockies picked up a 5-3 win over a team from North West Houston, with three Yukoners racking up a total of seven points.
At the forefront of the attack was what the Rockies coach dubbed the “Yukon line,” comprised of Burke and Chantelle Rivest.
“Chantelle and I really know each other well on the ice,” said Burke. “The coach noticed that and made sure we were together.”
“We had a linemate, Katie Frank, playing with us and she fit in with me and Angela right away,” said Rivest. “So it wasn’t hard for our line to bond.”
Rivest, Burke and fellow Yukoner Alex Bouchard each produced a goal in the game. Burke and Rivest also racked up four assists between them.
“For all five goals Chantelle and I were on the ice,” said Burke.
The tournament began on a low note for the Rockies, losing 12-2 to the Richmond Devils, who went on to take second place. After a scoreless first, the wheels came off for the Rockies in the second, being outscored 10-1. Surprisingly, Rivest feels that was her line’s strongest game.
“I’m really proud of our line for that game because we were only minus one,” said Rivest. “Out of the whole tournament, that was probably our best game.”
To stop hemorrhaging goals, the Rockies’ starting goalie was pulled at the end of the second and replaced with backup Alexandra Whitelaw, the fourth Yukoner on the team.
“She decided to play backup goalie for the tournament,” said Rivest. “The reason being we haven’t had so much ice-time this year—time to work on our skills. So she was hesitant to go in right away.
“When she did go in, she did exceptional.”
The Rockies finished the tournament with a 2-0 loss to the Salmon Arm Silver Tips, who defeated Richmond in the finals.
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