Main photo: The Huntsville Peewee Sting White with their gold medals at the 43rd annual Huntsville Girls Hockey Association Tournament (front from left) Ella Clark, Jayden Sallmen; (second row from left) Kaelyn Armstrong, Rosalie Creasor, Parker Bullen, Kirrah Corbett, Rory Jeffers, Paige Schurer, Harithashri Ramachandran; (third row from left) Alanah Jenkins, Hailey Plant, Kristen Marshall, Megan McGrath, Summer Martinson, Addison Campbell; (back row from left) assistant coach Peter Corbett, head coach Rick Armstrong and trainer Randy Campbell. (Cheyenne Wood)
The Huntsville Girls Hockey Association held its 43rd annual—and most successful—home tournament last weekend.
Sixty-six teams, including eight Huntsville Sting teams, competed in a total of 117 games in Huntsville, Burk’s Falls and Baysville. The tournament brought more than 1,000 players and 300 staff, family members and friends to town, and despite the poor weather not a single game was cancelled.
“HGHA is so excited to see our girls’ hockey program flourishing,” said tournament director, Kerri Vallentin.
The Atom Sting played hard all weekend with one win, one tie and won loss which was not enough to make it into the semi-finals. The Midget Sting Black also had a win, a tie and a loss in their pool and the Midget Sting White earned one win in their pool, with neither moving on to the final rounds. But all of the teams were there cheering on the other Sting players with heart.
The Bantam Sting Black and Bantam Sting White had three wins each and moved on to the semi-final games with their game faces on.
The Peewee Sting Black and Peewee Sting White teams both pushed through their games to earn four points each in their respective pools for a semi-final berth.
The Senior Sting placed fourth overall and played in the consolation final.
“HGHA is so excited to see half of the Huntsville Sting teams earning spots in semi-final and championship games,” said Vallentin.
Despite the treacherous weather, all teams safely made it to the Canada Summit Centre for a day of back-to-back semi-final and championship games.
The Peewee Sting Black faced Caledon at the Don Lough Arena for their semi-final game, but they could not catch the win to move on to the championships.
Next up was the Peewee Sting White at the Jack Bionda Arena against Leaside Black, where their win earned them a spot in the finals.
Then, the Bantam Sting White faced off against Carleton Place on the Don while the Bantam Sting Black took on Barrie Maroon on the Jack. Neither team made it to the finals.
Just one Sting team was left standing in the championship rounds, and they would take it all the way to the gold.
“One team was able to capture the coveted Sting Bling and a championship title. Congratulations to Huntsville Sting Peewee White,” said Vallentin.
Assistant coach Pete Corbett said, “We talked about the effort we needed from everyone and put a plan in place to execute the result we wanted. As coaches we couldn’t be more proud of this team and group of girls.”
Head coach Rick Armstrong added, “I’d like to thank my coaching staff for all they do and the parents for getting these kids to the rink all weekend despite some really crazy weather conditions. These girls have been working hard for this for the last few years and have went from a group that struggled to even compete to a team that’s now undefeated in league play at 9-0-0 and competing with any team on any given night. It sure is a great feeling to come out on top at such an awesomely run and organized home tournament.”
Many coaches commented on the weekend of great hockey, and the amazing tournament hosts, volunteers and Huntsville community.
Vallentin echoed that sentiment when she said, “Many thanks to the volunteers who make this event a success year after year.”
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!