Lacoka's Midget girls celebrate after winning the league banner Monday

Lacoka's Midget girls celebrate after winning the league banner Monday

Midget Lacoka defeat Stettler to win league title

The important hockey win can come on any given night.

The important hockey win can come on any given night.

For the Midget Lacoka girls, that night came Monday, March 21 against the OK Tire Stettler Midget Storm girls. This was the third game in a best of three finals series with no clear winner set. The first game of the series on March 19 put Stettler, recently crowned provincial champions, ahead with a 5-4 win. The next day Lacoka answered with a close 2-1 win and they reprised that score on Monday.

Coach Pete Hall could hardly contain his excitement at winning. The road to the league banner was not an easy one.

“That team (Stettler), they won provincials Midget B last week. They walked through provincials. They didn’t lose a game,” said Hall of Storm’s abilities.

Earning the finals win was anything but easy. Both teams started the first period sluggish and while they warmed up well in the second the game remained scoreless. It was in the third period that the Lacoka girls found their stride capitalizing on an early penalty. Literally 16 seconds into the third Lacoka scored.

A furious back and forth across the ice ensued with Stettler putting on the speed. They managed to tie up the game also taking advantage of a penalty. Without the penalties the game would have potentially remained tied for a long time. It all came down to the last two and a half minutes.

Hall said discipline on Lacoka’s side helped them overall against Stettler as they had less penalty minutes in total.

Stettler took a penalty and the puck was in their half of the ice. Seeing a win in their sights, the Lacoka girls managed to sink the puck with 1:39 left in the game. This gave them a slight cushion against Stettler who subsequently pulled their goalie. It was now six on five and Lacoka felt the pressure. Stettler made several shots on net but goalie Torrie Craig managed to keep her eyes and gloves on the puck sealing the finals win.

Looking back at the season Hall said while Lacoka didn’t make it to provincials, having lost to Leduc, there was some satisfaction in winning the league. “The kids did awesome. They had a great year.”

Only two players are moving on leaving the midget girls with a skilled group.

Hall is proud of the team but also proud of Lacoka hockey. “This program has grown,” he said.

“With the success of all the teams this year, how’s it not going to grow,” he asked in conclusion.