MEDICINE HAT, AB – For young girls just trying out the sport of ringette, it’s all about discovering a love of the sport and forming a connection with teammates.
But, a little winning never hurts.
On Saturday, the Medicine Hat Ice Angels took down the South Calgary Ice Wolves by a 7-4 final to win gold in the U10 Step 1 division at the Ed Horvath Interprovincial Classic tournament.
Tied 2-2 in the first half, the Ice Angels brought the home crowd to their feet with a handful of goals over the final 18 minutes to secure the gold medal win on home ice.
Forward Josephine Hillson was one of the many players to make an impact in the championship match and said it was a perfect way to end a magical tournament.
“I felt really special,” said Hillson. “I’ve never won a gold medal before, so I just feel really lucky that I got a medal.”
Medicine Hat finished their Ed Horvath tournament with an undefeated record of 3-0-1, taking home the first gold medal of the weekend.
Ice Angels head coach Jay Pinnell said the team has taken skills like passing and checking to heart over the last few months, which helped translate into a tournament victory.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Pinnell. “We have some kids that played last year, we got six brand new kids this year and it’s been a lot of fun. These kids have come a long ways and I’m really proud of them, really, really proud of them.”
The Ice Angels is mostly made up of young girls who are either eight or nine years old, with many still trying to find their footing on the ice.
Pinnell said he’s already starting to see his team’s leadership abilities on full display.
“There’s a lot of girls that are new to the sport, they really weren’t sure what to do out there,” said Pinnell. “Some of our older girls have really been helping out and we’re just gelling as a team, it’s awesome.”
And according to centre Breanna Lanuk, she shares those same feelings.
“We always work together as a team and we never give up in ourselves,” said Lanuk.
Another local team will be gunning for a gold medal on Sunday, with the Medicine Hat Mudhens looking to complete a perfect tournament against the Winnipeg Blaze in the U16 A final.
That game will get underway from the Kinplex at 3:15 pm, as the 2018 Ed Horvath Interprovincial Classic winds down with championship games on Sunday.
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