The Lacoka Bantam girls celebrate Thursday

The Lacoka Bantam girls celebrate Thursday

Lacoka Bantam girls heading to provincials

There was little doubt the Lacoka Bantam girls would secure a spot at the Bantam B provincials set for March 17 to 20 in Hinton.

There was little doubt the Lacoka Bantam girls would secure a spot at the Bantam B provincials set for March 17 to 20 in Hinton.

All they needed to do was beat Warburg in their second playdowns game on Thursday, Feb. 18 in Ponoka and they did just that, winning the second 5-1 in a two series game.

Lacoka had a reasonable cushion going into their second game after defeating Warburg in the first game of the series 7-1. That meant that Warburg had to beat Lacoka by seven points if they were going to land a provincials spot. Coach Tim Falkiner was proud of his players’ efforts to get to this point.

“The girls skate if they work hard. Everything falls into place,” said Falkiner. “It all depends on them. It all depends on their effort.”

He said the team put in a wholehearted effort in both of their playdowns series. The first round was against Rocky Mountain House, where Lacoka secured two solid wins.

Ponoka player Cheyenne Avery and Lacombe’s Camryn Fodor both suggest the team’s unity has been a great part of their success thus far. Going into the playdowns series, Fodor said their goal was to be safe and healthy throughout.

“So that we could all share the experience with each other,” said Fodor.

Playing Warburg did create some uncertainty for the Lacoka girls who had lost a league game against Warburg coming into their playdowns series against them. Avery said they had to play strong hockey throughout the series otherwise they knew Warburg would take advantage.

Asked about their focus during practices, Avery replied that she hopes they continue to work on puck and stick handling. Fodor added that this is her second chance at provincials and she intends to stay focussed as every game counts.

The team hosted provincials last year and Fodor feels that experience will help them this time around. Her focus will be to win each game.

Coming into provincials Falkiner said the team has had little chance to play any of the other Alberta teams and he preaches: “effort, effort, effort.”

Falkiner said between breaks against Warburg, coaches didn’t have anything to point out that needed attention.

Falkiner’s bet

It started last year when Falkiner made a bet with his team: if they win provincials, he will let them shave his hair off.

For a year and a half Falkiner has been growing his hair in preparation.