BY ZACHARY CORMIER
It was about as close to a clean sweep as it could get for Lacombe’s ringette teams during their home tournament this past weekend.
No less than four local ringette teams are celebrating gold medal victories at the Lacombe Ringette Association’s annual Icebreaker tournament at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex this past week and the LRA couldn’t be happier with the result.
“We can’t remember ever winning that many in a single home tournament before,” said LRA Media Liason Karol Warner in an email earlier this week.
Lacombe’s U12, U14, U16 and U19 teams were all among those who captured the top prize in their age groups and, according to Lacombe U19 Coach Chad Collins, that’s no mean feat.
“There’s been lots of times where the teams were all in (the final) but for all of the teams to capture gold, it’s been a long-long time since that happened,” said Collins.
The veteran coach with the LRA noted his team had a fantastic weekend of ringette from a coach’s perspective.
“Just the team play. They played well as a group. They skated hard, they moved the ring as a team and were just able to push through.”
For a team that had yet to play in a tournament this season, the U19 side showed some exceptional poise throughout the weekend. Even after tying two of their four games and being pushed nearly to the brink of elimination in the round robin.
“The two Calgary teams (Calgary NW and Calgary Bowview) played off Sunday morning as well and if they would have tied, we would have been out because we would have been tied for points but on goals for and against, they would have beat us,” recalled Collins.
But Bowview ended up beating North West to advance and face Lacombe in the final, where the hometown girls surged to a 4-1 victory.
“The girls saved their best for last. They played very well on Sunday afternoon,” Collins said, adding it’s a pretty cool feeling to win gold on home ice.
“We have a pretty small team in Lacombe and we just haven’t been able to do much, so we haven’t been in finals for awhile. We had to use affiliates even to get through this weekend. One of our affiliates had to play eight games and three of our affiliates played seven games on the weekend. And most of the kids ref as well, so they were on the ice a lot this weekend.”
Meanwhile, the U12 team were able to put on a Cinderella story of sorts as they surged to defeat Spruce Grove, a team that beat them 7-1 in the round robin, by a score of 9-7 in the final.
The U14 team capped of an undefeated weekend with a 8-3 win over Regina on Sunday.
Similarily, the U16 team finished off their perfect record with a 9-7 win over Indus.