BHA girls second in final tournament of the year
By: Justin Brisbane
| Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012 06:00 am
The Banff Hockey Academy Midget AAA girls reached the final of their biggest tournament of the year, but lost 3-1 on the West Coast to Vancouver-based Midget New Generationz on Sunday (May 20).
“The girls played really well. They started off rusty, but used that first game as a stepping stone. They progressively got better as the tournament went on,” said coach Kendall Newell.
Banff was undefeated through round robin play, as Brittany Erickson (two goals, seven assists in five games), Cecile Novel (one goal, five assists in five games) and Alexis Westergaard (seven goals, one assist in five games) led the offensive charge. Along with Isabel Patterson, they accounted for almost all of Banff’s offence throughout the weekend. Their opponent in the final also went undefeated through round robin play, allowing the top two teams in the tournament to face off in the final.
Struck by injuries following the Rocky Mountain Invitational, BHA could only ice two lines at the tournament. However, the team held strong against larger opponents and had a 1-0 lead going into the third in the championship game. However, Banff couldn’t generate enough offence to seal the deal.
“I’d like to see more from the other girls, but I’m glad those three stepped up,” said coach Kendell Newell. “The other line played well and created a million opportunities, but didn’t bury as many chances.”
Makayla Campbell was in net for the gold-medal game. She and Andrea McDonald supplied stellar play through the tourney.
The tournament was the last of the year for the BHA girls. Even though the team won the tournament last year, Newell said the players should have no regrets.
“The girls are proud of what they did. They won last year and this year placed second. They’re proud of their efforts. It was a good way to end the season,” Newell said.
Work has already begun on next season, as training camp planning, scouting and player evaluation takes priority.
“This season was a good year for a lot of the girls. We’ve seen a lot of the hard work they’ve put in come together and it’s exciting to see that,” Newell said. “Cecile, Brittany and Kaylee really started to play well. You could tell they had played together and other teams commented on how well we gelled. It was fun hockey to watch.”
The midget boys team also participated in the tournament, which attracts more than 200 teams from across Canada and the United States. The boys went 0-4 in the midget minor division. Geordie Barrie, Yannis Soukas and Riley Cieslak led Banff in scoring with three points each.