Girls’ hockey skills on display as Woolwich Wild hosts tournament

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Increasingly popular, girls’ hockey was on display in the township last weekend as 22 teams from across southern Ontario took part in the Woolwich Wild annual Shootout Tournament.

Girls between the ages of 7 and 12 participated in several divisions, including novice, atom and peewee. Among communities represented were Burlington, Owen Sound, London, Walkerton and Cambridge.

It was the first time Woolwich had hosted such a tournament in more than a decade.

“Girls’ hockey is starting to become a bigger thing here in Woolwich,” explained Woolwich Wild vice-president Rebecca Metzger. “There are a couple of us that thought of hosting a tournament. Clinton Rayfield, Kyle Rank and I are part of a tournament committee, and we decided we wanted to try to do this.”

“We just thought it was time, with the beautiful facility that we have, we thought it was time to show it off,” added Rank. “And it’s a great venue to be able to hold a tournament. It’s kind of nice when you can use the two ice pads there, and then we used the St. Jacobs arena as well.”

The Woolwich Wild performed decently in the tournament for the most part, with the LL1 team coming in second in the Novice house league division, with LL2 in fourth. They placed third in Novice B, fourth for the Atom house league division, second out of four teams in the Atom B division, and third out of four teams in Peewee B.

After more than a decade’s break from hosting, local organizers were pleased with how the weekend went. Rank said he expects the tournament to continue again in 2019.

“We got great feedback from all the teams that were there. The first year is probably the hardest year,” he said. “But now that we’ve got it going and up and running, those people enjoy the area, and I could see them coming back. So hopefully just bigger and better next year and continued success.”

Running from Friday through Sunday, the event went smoothly and was well-received, he noted.

“Thanks to all the sponsors in the local communities that helped out, and all the volunteers that helped make the weekend special for all the teams, I think everyone had a great time,” said Rank.

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