Despite a rocky start, the Lacoka bantam girls managed to hold their own against tougher teams from across the province during the bantam and midget tournament held in Ponoka Jan 25 to 27.
“I think the teams were competitive but the girls stood right with them,” said head coach Traci Law. “They played really well.”
The girls lost their first two games of the tournament but were able to turn it around in the third. They won their third game 5-4 against Okotoks.
Law says the girls’ spirit never drooped and they played each game as fighters. “Their ability to adapt to any situation and their camaraderie … They wanted to win. They basically got out there each shift and played their best.”
The other teams were faster, had good goalies and the ability to read plays, said Law. She knew the team would have to adapt to that.
After the first to games the girls also knew they’d have to step up their game to compete. ‘They’re better than our league. These teams are harder than our league. We have to adapt,” said team captain Carly French.
French said the other teams knew how to move and pass the puck. “I had to be really defensive. Whenever we get the chance we should rush the puck.”
The girls knew Okotoks would be a hard team to beat because they had a good defense but they were hoping for the best. “We have to play different,” said Lacoka player Shayla Loeffler.
Law knew the girls would have to adapt to different strategies she didn’t want to change the way they played the game, especially this late in the season. “I think going forward that we’re just going to stick to our game and how we play hockey.”
Along with how her girls played, Law was also impressed with the amount of parent volunteer work that went into the tournament, as well as the Lacoka midget team.
Law said not only was it nice to see their fans in the stands but also the fans of other Lacoka teams. She says when the girls had the chance they watched and supported the other teams as well.