A long-time powerhouse of the EDSS Lancers, the girls’ hockey team stormed through the Waterloo County Secondary School Athletic Association’s (WCSSAA) regular season this winter, and looked poised to keep the momentum going as they compete in the playoffs.
Taking on the visitors from Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School in the quarter-finals Monday, the Lancers soundly knocked out their opponents in a 6-1 decision.
The win was just the latest in the girls’ near-perfect season this year, which saw them rise to the top of the standings with eight wins and just a single loss in the ten-team division.
“I think we started off maybe a little bit on the not-so-good side, and then we picked it up as we started playing more as a team. Got used to each other, playing together,” said team co-captain Madi Oliver of the team’s season, right after Monday’s quarter-final win.
“I think we had a couple ups and downs throughout the season, but we never stopped working hard. So that paid off,” added fellow co-captain Kambell Beacom.
Six of the team’s nine games over the regular season resulted in a shutout of the other team, while just one, versus Waterloo-Oxford, ended in defeated. The electric season was also par for the course for the lady Lancers, which have traditionally had a solid showing at the Waterloo County games, said head coach Steve Karn.
“The girls’ hockey team has traditionally been one of the better teams in the school. They’ve won it, I think, four times, the championship, WCSSAA, so they’re usually a solid team,” said Karn. “So there’s really no surprises with them. Our goal at the beginning of the season was to get first overall, and they managed to do that.”
Game one of the semi-finals was set for Wednesday against Bluevale Collegiate, though results weren’t known before press time. The teams meet again February 20 in Waterloo.
A solid showing will give the team a straight shot for the regionals (CWOSSA) championships, and possibly even a provincial (OFSAA) qualification.
“I feel like we can make it out of WCSSAA, but I’m not really sure. I’ve been to CWOSSA once before in Grade 9 and it was a lot of competition,” says Oliver, now a Grade 11 student.
“We’ll just take it one day at a time,” says coach Karn. “But the girls would be happy to get to the finals and have a chance to go back to CWOSSA. If you win the semi-finals, you’re guaranteed CWOSSA, and anything is possible there. We went to OFSAA three times in the past, so it would be nice to get back there. But we’re just taking it one step at a time.”
The wins are likely going to keep coming for the EDSS team well into next year, as the Lancers’ features a younger lineup this year, with a lot of returnees expected to make a comeback in the 2019-20 season.
“There’s only one player for sure that can’t come back next year. All the other ones are back again, so it bodes well for the future,” said Karn.
It bodes especially for the tight-knit team, many of whom have been sharing ice for some time now.
“It’s been good. Everyone gets along well. A couple of girls play hockey outside of school too,” said Beacom. “Everyone meshes pretty well together.”
The regional CWOSSA championships have been set for the March 5 and 6.