Main photo: The U15 Huntsville Sting (front from left) Charlotte Robertson, Hadley Clayton, Lexie Allen, Layla Muntz, Leah Maxwell, Morgan Cork, Jayden Sallmen; (back from left) Abby Coles, Rosie Creasor, Tashi Muntz, Lauchlyn Trenholm, Bailey Byers, and Haritha Ramachandran. (supplied)
Hard work has paid off for the U15 Huntsville Sting. In an exciting long weekend of tournament play, the team went undefeated through six games to capture first in their division.
The Sting travelled to Brampton for the 53rd Annual Brampton Canadettes Easter Tournament, held April 14-17. It’s billed as the world’s largest and longest-running female hockey tournament—there were 770 games played by 373 teams on 25 ice pads throughout the weekend.
Of the 16 teams in their U15HL division, the Sting came out on top, outscoring their opponents by a total of 27 goals to four and shutting out the competition in three of six games.
The Sting earned a berth in the final rounds after winning their three games 6-0, 4-1, and 8-1.
In the quarterfinals, Huntsville bested Kitchener with a shut-out 3-0, followed by a 4-2 win over Cambridge in the semi-finals to make their way to the championship game against the Wilmot Wolverines. They would keep the Wolverines’ puck out of their net for the duration to take a 1-0 victory.
“Everyone’s super excited,” said coach Mark Allen, explaining that this was the third and final tournament of the year for the team, which is comprised of players in grades eight and nine.
“They worked hard all year,” added Allen, noting that while they were one of the weaker teams in their league at the start of the season, they worked hard in practices and by the end of the season, “we were beating teams that were beating us at the start of the year…I’m super proud of them.”
The team’s success points to the growing quality of the Huntsville Girls Hockey Association. The organization is hoping to offer even more opportunity for female players in the future, in particular a competitive program to run alongside the current house league teams.
“We do have a lot of competitive-level hockey players that have been developed with the Huntsville Sting, but because we don’t offer [a competitive program]they leave and go to Orillia, North Bay, Barrie, wherever,” said Allen, who is also a member of the HGHA board of directors. “We’re working on trying to keep those Muskoka girls in Muskoka and offering them higher level hockey to play at.” The organization hopes to have a competitive program partially in place for next season, with a full program to follow.
The 2021/22 season may have come to a close, but the U15 Sting will have memories of this weekend to carry them through the summer months until they can meet on the ice once again.
“Overall everybody had a great weekend and it was a perfect ending to a real successful season,” said Allen.
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