Sports

Bantam girls double-gold winners

The Williams Lake Bantam girls hockey team won two gold medals last month — one for defeating Kamloops at the Attitude on Ice all-girls tournament in 100 Mile House, and one for defeating Richmond at the Ice Classics all-girls tournament in Richmond. - Photo submitted
The Williams Lake Bantam girls hockey team won two gold medals last month — one for defeating Kamloops at the Attitude on Ice all-girls tournament in 100 Mile House, and one for defeating Richmond at the Ice Classics all-girls tournament in Richmond.
— image credit: Photo submitted

The Williams Lake Bantam girls hockey team have brought home two gold-place finishes after defeating Kamloops and then Richmond this month.

Jackie Austin, whose daughter plays in the Bantams, says the team travelled to 100 Mile House for the “Attitude on Ice” all-girls tournament from March 11-13, where they had two wins and one loss.

“The first time they played Kamloops, they lost against Kamloops,” Austin says. “Then they ended up playing Kamloops in the final and they won.”

She says the girls played their hearts out and won 3-1,  taking home the gold medal for the Bantam division.

“They didn’t expect to win,” she says. “They could have won the other game they lost, but they just weren’t really putting it all in there.”

Then, the Bantam girls — approximately ages 13 and 14 — travelled south to Richmond March 25-27 for the “Ice Classic” all-girls tournament, which hosted more than 70 teams of the various divisions.

They won their pool and played Richmond, the winner of the other pool in the final game, Austin says.

“We were guaranteed four games but we played five because we won in our pool.”

In the two previous years, the Bantam girls took home silver medals, and although the final game in Richmond wasn’t easy to win, the team landed gold.

“They were pretty pumped this year to get to the final and actually win, because they made it that far two years in the past and didn’t win.”

The first period ended in a 1-1 tie; the second ended 2-1 for the Bantams.

Late in the third period, Richmond pulled their goalie in a last-ditch effort to score against the Bantams.

But the Williams Lake team scored twice more, winning the game 4-1.

The Bantams brought home a trophy, a banner and plan to display it at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.

Austin says the team tends to lose in the house-mixed league during the year.

However, she says the losses have made them stronger players when they play against their peers.

“Our girls, they play against mixed teams, which is 99 per cent boys all year. They lose pretty badly sometimes, and the girls’ morale never goes down. They just know that when they play their peers, they do well and it actually helps them.”

Those in their first year of Bantams will be in the division next year, while those finishing their second year will go on to the midget division.

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