Stettler Minor Hockey girls have had an exceptional season this year with the PeeWee girls winning the provincial in Ponoka this past weekend, while the Midget girls won the league banner.
Although Stettler Midget lost to Lacoka in their first game in a shootout, 3-2 after a five-minute overtime, they were able to regain their confidence with a win in Lacombe 4-3 in the second game.
The final decisive game played in Stettler on Wednesday, March 22 saw the girls consolidate and eventually win 3-2, thereby winning the league banner.
“Overall we had another very good year,” said Head Coach Mike Kuefler. “We finished first in the league even though we had a couple of really strong teams that competed all year with us.”
According to Kuefler, as with any year there are ups and downs and in provincials one bad period cost them their chance to represent.
“Our girls are very committed and it’s a group that has been together for a few years now,” Kuefler added. “They work really hard in practice and they want to succeed, they want to get better and when you have that combination it’s usually a winning formula.”
Stettler PeeWee girls win provincial championship
The Stettler PeeWee girls went into the provincial championship this past weekend in Ponoka riding high after their league win.
In the semi-finals, they played Okotoks and won 6-0. Facing Olds in the finals, the girls upped the ante and maintained pressure on the opponents throughout, finally breaking through their defence, winning 4-3 and the much-desired provincial win.
“We are very proud of how our team played all season long and the hard work they put in, so to finish the year with our two major goals accomplished – league championship and provincial championship gold – was extremely gratifying,” said Head Coach Brad Robbins. “We lost out to Olds last year during the semi-final so the players had a little extra motivation going into the final game this year. And as all great teams do, we saved our best hockey for when it mattered most and as coaches it was awesome to watch the players perform and execute at such a high level.”
Robbins added that it was overwhelming to see the amount of support the team received in Ponoka all weekend but to see the number of people from Stettler that came to watch both games was unbelievable.
“The players fed off that energy for that little extra push,” Robbins said.
Stettler Atom girls fall to Olds, despite a gritty game
After winning the provincial banner, the Atom girls were ready to take on Olds in the league final games. However, after a devastating loss of 8-0 in an away game on Friday, March 24, the girls lost momentum.
When they played Olds in Stettler on Saturday, March 25 it was easy to see that the opponents had that extra edge, which the home team was unable to push past, finally losing 5-3.
“First off I would like to say how proud I am of these young ladies,” said Head Coach Clint Greiner. “They truly know the definition of hard work and determination. Our year started off a little slow in the win column but we stayed with our yearly plan on and off the ice and it paid dividends at the end of the year.”
According to Greiner, after losing the first game to Olds, the girls were a little checked out, but when they came back home to play the second game, Stettler fans truly got the girls’ fire going again and they played a great game only to lose by one right at the end.
“The most impressive part of the year is how the girls treat each other on and off the ice, the friendships they have made and a lot of memories in the vault that they won’t forget,” Greiner added.