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Lacoka Warriors battle hard in home tournament

Ponoka’s bantam female hockey club fall in tournament final
Chloe Wilton of the Lacoka Warriors watches as the puck deflects off the Maskwacis player after trying a spin move in front of the net. The Warriors won this round robin game 8-1 on Nov. 25. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Even though the club wasn’t able to lay claim to its home tournament, the Lacoka bantam Warriors female hockey squad showed what they are made of.

The Warriors fell by a score of 4-2 to a strong Okotoks team in the six-team tournament final hosted in Ponoka over the weekend. The girls defeated Sherwood Park 3-2 and then Maskwacis 8-1 in their round robin pool to make the playoff round, where they beat a team from Edmonton 4-1 to reach the final.

Warriors head coach Justin Grabo explained the girls were fantastic in both ends of the rink in the semi-final contest.

“Beating Maskwacis put us first in our pool, then against Edmonton, they had a really good goalie,” said Grabo, noting the Warriors outshot their opponent 49-8.

“We played our best game of the season, as Edmonton didn’t have a shot on goal for the game’s first 30 minutes.”

Grabo added that this group of players has a positive work ethic, both on and off the ice, plus during games and practices.

“The biggest positive of the team’s game so far has been the girls’ forecheck and backcheck,” he said.

“Our season has been progressing well, as the coaching staff is seeing improvements every time the girls step on the ice. We just want to see them all keep improving and show up ready to work hard and give it their best.”

To date, the Warriors sit third in the Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League’s Tier 1 North Division standings with a record of four wins to go along with a loss and a tie. The team’s next home game isn’t until Dec. 23 against Camrose.

Cassandra Klinger looks on as her shot from the left circle goes off the mask of the Maskwacis goalie and up into the netting during the first period of the Lacoka Warriors 8-1 win Nov. 25. Photo by Jordie Dwyer
Tenial Hunt goes strong to the net, but has the puck taken off her stick by a Mackwacis defender in the first period of the Warriors 8-1 win on Nov. 25. Photo by Jordie Dwyer
Lacoka Warriors Cassandra Grabo (left) and Hailey Huchkowski battle for a loose puck in their own zone before eventually getting it down the ice during their 8-1 win over Maskwacis Nov. 25. Photo by Jordie Dwyer