Last weekend Lacombians were treated to two National Ringette League games featuring the Edmonton WAM! and Calgary Rath teams.
Lacombe local Meghan Kelly, who plays for Rath, said it was good to be home and playing a game in Lacombe.
“I feel good. Everybody played hard as a team and it was a great effort. We’ve really been working on control and supporting each other on and off the ice. It’s great playing back at home and getting to show everybody how great ringette actually is,” Kelly said.
The teams took over the ice at Barnett for two games on Sunday.
During the first game, Calgary beat Edmonton with a score of 10-5.
Rath Head Coach Paul Geddes said that Edmonton’s team is good competition for them and that he was pleased with his team’s performance.
“WAM! is a very fast, hardworking team so we knew that we had to keep our feet moving and move the ring quickly. When we did that, at the start of the second quarter, we created a lot of good offensive opportunities,” Geddes said.
“We do have some very talented offensive players so if we create enough opportunities and take enough shots, we are eventually going to get some in the net.”
The opening game between the two teams was exciting to say the least. Edmonton gained a lead on Calgary in the first quarter but was quickly passed in the second quarter. Shaundra Bruvall scored three of Calgary’s first goals in the game and was the top scorer between both games played.
Rath has been rebuilding its roster for the last couple of years and played both games with their team short of players due to injuries.
Geddes said that all of the girls have been working very hard as a team through the experience.
“It’s a bit of a re-building year for us. We’ve lost some veteran players over the last couple of years and have added some very young players, so it’s a learning experience for all of us. However, in terms of where we’re at this year it is exactly where I’ve expected us to be. We’re competitive with everybody in the league and the girls are working really hard, so it’s a lot of fun,” he said.
The third quarter of the game was marked by a total of five goals on behalf of Calgary Rath players. Alex Saizew, Lauren Chown and Jocelyn Stock each scored a goal, with Lindsey Kee scoring two.
Both teams scored a couple of goals in the final quarter, bringing the game to its final score of 10-5. Edmonton WAM! Head coach Ralph Bell said that Calgary played a good game and challenged their regular strategy.
“It wasn’t our best effort or our best game. Calgary came out and took it to us. I think our next game will be different. We didn’t control the ring long enough in their zone, and you need a lot of zone time – it wears down the other team,” he said.
“We are a fast break team – we have the wheels to do that. But it doesn’t always work when you have a good team like Calgary who clumps up a neutral zone and doesn’t allow you to free wheel like you want to. To beat them, we need to methodically work our way into the zone and go from there.”
Bell’s methods of securing the ring was put to test in the second game of the evening played only several hours after the first. WAM! won the second game in a shootout, with a score of 6-5.