BY ZACHARY CORMIER
The Central Alberta Sting U16AA ringette team are coming home with smiles on their faces after striking gold at a tournament in Cambridge, Ont. this past weekend.
It was the first gold medal win of the season for the local team, which is comprised mainly of players from Red Deer and Lacombe. They posted a 3-1 record in the round robin before winning their next two games to take home the gold in the U19A division of the tournament.
“The girls played well. They played awesome,” said Sting Head Coach Shawn Wagar.
The Sting kicked off what would turn out to be a successful weekend in dominant fashion. The girls posted a 9-1 victory over Mississauga before carrying that momentum to defeat West Ferris 5-3 and Owen Sound 6-1 in their next two games.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t complete the sweep of the round robin portion of the tournament, falling 2-1 to Kitchener.
The loss set up a semi-final matchup with West Ferris.
It was an extremely close affair which saw the Sting come back from a 2-1 deficit in the final 10 minutes to tie the game and eventually win, thanks to a last-minute goal from Hannah Murray.
That set up a gold medal game rematch with Kitchener, which was a game the Sting weren’t going to lose.
Despite once again falling behind early in the game after a trio of first period goals by their opponents, the Sting never gave up on the game and battled their way back to win it 5-3 and clinch the gold medal.
“I would say we have very balanced team play. Everyone contributes, so I think that’s key. I think we’re very well trained in terms of our fitness and our systems and as a result, I think if we stick to that, we do very well,” said Wagar.
He noted that the team’s performance at the tournament was one more achievement for a team that has seen its fair share of success this year.
“No complaints at all. We’re 22-10-4, so we’ve definitely won our share of games,” he said.
Earlier this year the team won a silver medal at the St. Albert Turkey Ring tournament and they’ve been keeping good pace with the other teams in their league this season.
“We have a great group of girls and I have a really good coaching staff. We’ve been together now for quite a few years, so it’s a good group,” Wagar said, adding that the team is once again be aiming to represent Alberta at Nationals this year.
Scoring for the Sting over the weekend were Kianna Doyle (6 goals, 3 assists), Hannah Murray (5G, 1A), Colby Wagar (4G, 2A), Carly Cherniak (4G, 2A), Hannah Gill (3G, 3A), Madison Pluister (1G, 4A), Megan Grubb (1G, 3A), Rachel Vandervlis (1G, 2A), Saxon Anderson (1G, 2A), Alexa Knight (1G, 2A), Ashlin Caine (1G, 2A), Hannah Morrison (1G, 2A) and Kianna Krall (3A).
McKenna Smalley and Gracie Setters shared the goal-tending duties for the Central Alberta squad.
Meanwhile, the U19AA Sting squad were back to regular league play with a pair of games last weekend.
The U19s came up short in both games, dropping a 6-5 loss to Edmonton Elite Open A before falling 10-8 to the Relit Open A squad the following day.
Melissa Misutka and Sydney Cherniak each had a pair of goals and Mackenzie Lindholm added a single for the Sting against Edmonton while Shae-Lyn Baxter and Lindholm each scored a pair and Cherniak, Jaedyn Knight, Emily LeMasurier and Brenna Parent added a goal each for the squad in the Relit game.