Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Aimee O'Connor

SILVER SQUAD – A team of Yukon pee wee girls won silver in the competitive division at the Richmond Ice Classic over the Easter Weekend. They lost 7-6 in a barn burner of a gold medal final.

Yukon pee wees make their mark at Richmond tournament

Thirteen of the territory’s youngest but most accomplished female hockey players went to Richmond last weekend with commitment.

By Chuck Tobin on April 5, 2018

Thirteen of the territory’s youngest but most accomplished female hockey players went to Richmond last weekend with commitment.

They came home Monday with silver, a smidgeon away from gold following a third-period shootout in the final.

Co-coach Pat Tobler said the Yukon team of Whitehorse, Dawson City and Watson Lake skaters were playing in the competitive division which is pretty close – very close – to the best pee wee girls hockey you’ll find in B.C.

At the same tournament last year, the Yukon pee wees placed fourth.

“This year we figured we would do it again,” Tobler said in an interview earlier this week. “We knew what we were up against so we put together a competitive team and we almost won it.”

Through the round-robin play the Yukon finished with 13 goals for and four goals against, having defeated Portland, Ore., 3-2, Richmond 5-0 and Sannich 4-0 but losing 1-0 to Seattle Royal.

They lost 7-6 to Seattle in the gold medal final but not before fans were treated to hockey on the edge of their seats.

The game was tied 1-1 after the first. It was tied 2-2 after the second.

The third period saw the clubs trade a flurry of nine goals.

The Seattle Royals took a 4-2 lead in the opening four minutes of the final period. But the Yukon responded with back-to-back markers a minute and a half apart, evening up the score at 4-4, and still over eight minutes to play.

In the last three three minutes of the final, five goals were scored but when the ice chips settled, the Royals led 7-6.

“The girls did super, they did really well,” Tobler said. “Both these games against Seattle were barn burners and could have gone either way.”

Tobler said Hockey Yukon’s decision three years ago to begin offering ice time once a week for young girls, not just the 11- and 12-year-old pee wees, has contributed to the overall development of the players.

Most of the girls play on integrated teams through the season but having that time once a week for just the girls to practice and play together has created something of melting pot from which good things are rising, the coach suggested.

Tobler, who shares the coaching duties with Trevor Twardochleb, said in addition to the Whitehorse

players, which included three 10-year-olds, there were four skaters from Dawson and one from Watson Lake.

The team that took Seattle to the wall hadn’t played together as a unit all year, he pointed out.

“They worked hard,” Tobler said. “They passed the puck a lot and they came together as a group really quickly.

“It was incredibly exciting because we came back a few times in the game and the girls felt pretty good about their game, and were happy to get a silver metal.”

Tobler said Arnica Bulmer of Dawson was “an absolute force” on defence, not to mention the hat trick she contributed in the final.

Forward Taylor Bierlmeier led the offence with several goals and assists through the tournament, the coach pointed out.

Tobler also emphasized how Hockey Yukon and BC Hockey will be hosting a hockey weekend for female players at the Canada Games Centre the weekend of April 13 to 15.

The camp is for players of all skill levels and ages, from beginners to advanced.

Comments (1)

Up 0 Down 0

Roxanne on Apr 10, 2018 at 2:47 pm

I wish you had named all the players in the picture.

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