It’s been a good stretch for girls’ hockey teams

Woolwich Wild clubs raking in the hardware, with three facing off in provincial matches this weekend

Woolwich Wild teams continue to rack up the hardware, bringing home two silver and two gold medals last weekend. And three teams are off to provincials this weekend.

Woolwich Wild president Kevin Schmitt jokes it’s been a “pretty decent season.”

The Woolwich Wild PeeWee B and Atom Local League teams won gold, while the Midget BB and Intermediate Local League brought home silver.

The Midget BB, PeeWee B, and Atom BB are off to provincials.

He notes the Midget BBs have had a great season.

“This will be the last year for a lot of them because they’re going to be going out to school. It’s nice for them to do that,” Schmitt said.

They had a 48-4-4 record.

The PeeWee B team also had a successful season with a 43-2-8 record, along with winning some tournaments. The Atom BB team had a 26-8-5 record, not bad for a team of 10-year-olds.

“They’ve won a tournament, they won one down in London. They lost last weekend in the third round of Lower Lakes. They were all 1-0 games, which is good and bad. Unfortunately they’re not going to Lower Lakes where we had hoped, but they still qualified for provincials,” Schmitt said.

The Atom Local League team is 25-7-3 and finished second in three tournaments. The Intermediate Local League holds a 33-6 record, won a gold medal at the Jason Cripps Tournament and won gold in Brampton.

Of Woolwich Wild’s seven rep teams, three are going to provincials. He says this is impressive for a centre of Woolwich’s size.

The Woolwich Wild Atom LL team won the gold medal in the KMHA Pool A championship final with a 2-1 victory over the Ayr Rockets on Apr. 2. Front: Makenna Kroetsch. Second row: Emily Martin, Bella Roth, Reese Talbot, Katie Brubacher, Tiana Bender, Nora Beatty. Third row: Emily Sargent, Kyla Bloch, Hailey Brubacher, Kelsey Brubacher, Karli Gingrich, Alison Martin, Claire Jacklin. Forth row: trainer and coaches Melissa Roth, Ken Martin, Joe Jacklin, Kirby Gingrich, Brad Talbot.[Submitted]
The Woolwich Wild Atom LL team won the gold medal in the KMHA Pool A championship final with a 2-1 victory over the Ayr Rockets on Apr. 2. Front: Makenna Kroetsch. Second row: Emily Martin, Bella Roth, Reese Talbot, Katie Brubacher, Tiana Bender, Nora Beatty. Third row: Emily Sargent, Kyla Bloch, Hailey Brubacher, Kelsey Brubacher, Karli Gingrich, Alison Martin, Claire Jacklin. Forth row: trainer and coaches Melissa Roth, Ken Martin, Joe Jacklin, Kirby Gingrich, Brad Talbot. [Submitted]

“Local league, we had two out of six go to finals, which is also quite staggering when you think about all the teams that are involved,” Schmitt said.

He says it’s important to celebrate the association’s small victories and help bring more girls into the sport.

They have more than 200 players and that number is growing every year.

The mandate of provincials is that every region in the OWHA is represented and most teams have to qualify. Schmitt notes that some teams may not have to qualify based on their population and geographical area. The Woolwich teams had to qualify through a round robin.

Schmitt attributes the association’s success this year in large part to the coaching staff.

“They’re really pushing the girls and it has to do with some of the player development. Our midget, some of them have been together for probably close to 10 years. I think it was 2006 the last time they had placed and brought a banner home, girls of that age group. So it’s been 10 years and they’re going back. They’ve played together for a while that they get a good chemistry going,” Schmitt said.

And, of course, the girls should be applauded for their hard work to make it to the finals and provincials. Competing in provincials and the Lower Lakes finals is no longer an automatic.

He adds the last time they brought home a banner from Lower Lakes was three years ago, so it’s exciting for the girls.

Laura McIntosh will be their guest speaker at the association’s annual banquet later this month. She’s an assistant coach for Wilfrid Laurier University and plays in the Canadian Womens’ Hockey League. She did the Woolwich Wild skills development this year and she’ll be doing it again next year.

Next year looks to be promising as well after a big turn out to the Come and Try Girls Hockey event last weekend, the largest since its inaugural year.

“We had 29 girls come out on Sunday, phenomenal. And they weren’t all young ones, which was kind of nice. There were 19 that are potential rookies that came out. So hopefully most of those sign up,” Schmitt said.

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