BY KALISHA MENDONSA
This past week the girls from the Central Alberta U16AA Sting team worked hard to earn a bronze medal at the Canadian Ringette National Championships.
The team fought hard to place third out of the 21 teams in the championship, and Head Coach Shawn Wagner said it was a fantastic way to end their season together.
“It’s been a great year. They are a fabulous bunch of girls. We went to Ontario and won our tournament in Cambridge, and finished second in Provincials. To finish third in Nationals was pretty amazing. We have great coaches, a great manager and we’re all lucky to be surrounded by such talented girls,” Wagner said.
The Sting U16AA squad was the only U16AA team to finish the round-robin undefeated, 6-0.
After defeating Quebec in the quarter-final 7-2, the ladies moved on to take down Team Alberta in the semi-final, with a 5-4 overtime win, landing them the bronze medal.
In the semi-final, scorers included Saxon Anderson (two goals), Carly Cherniak (two goals) and Madison Pluister.
So far, this year has proved to be a great one, according to Wagner.
He said the ladies have been working hard to improve their skills, and have had several notable successes through the season.
“We started at the beginning of the year doing a tournament in St. Albert, and we got silver there. From there, we played a few big tournaments in Edmonton and Calgary. We flew out to Cambridge, and swept that to get a gold,” he said.
“Provincials was great, too, and we only lost that one tough game in the final against Calgary. At Nationals, there were seven teams in our division, 21 total, and we went undefeated in that division. We won our pool, where we went right to the quarter-finals where we beat Quebec. The final was pretty dramatic, and we beat out the Calgary Pacers for a bronze, and ended up third in all of Canada, so that was awesome.”
Now, the U16AA are heading to Finland for a 10-day tour where they will explore, play a few games and take part in an exhibition against Sweden.
However, the U16AA team are not the only Sting reps who have carried a successful season.
The Central Alberta U19AA Sting captured the Consolation Final at the Canadian Ringette Championships, 3-1 against Team Quebec. They finished their round-robin with a four win, three loss record and came out on top in the quarter-finals against Team British Columbia, 7-2.
During the semi-finals, the ladies defeated Manitoba Magic 5-3, and in the Consolation Final, they took the title with their victory over Team Quebec.
At the closing banquet this year, Kianna Doyla was notably named the U16AA team all-star, and Melissa Misutka took the same honour for the U19AA division.
All in all, it’s been a hard-fought season for the AA league and Wagner said he is sure all of the coaches are extremely proud of the girls.