The bantam female Williams Lake Timberwolves are the first all-girls team from Williams Lake to reach a provincial hockey championship.
The girls advanced to the tournament, being held March 16-21 in Fort St. John, after beating the Prince George Cougars in two straight games of a best-of-three regional playdown series in Williams Lake last Saturday and Sunday, 3-2 and 3-1, respectively.
“The girls played their hearts out. They played awesome,” said coach Troy Weil of his team’s effort.
“They were very focused, they were disciplined, they played within the team structure, they wanted it more than anyone and they didn’t give up.”
In game one Prince George took the lead early but Hallie Fisher, Caily Mellott and Grace Outhouse lit the lamp for the home side to edge Prince George in the 3-2 outing. Paityn Weil added two assists in the victory.
In game two Williams Lake came out flat, being outshot 13-4 in the first period, however, entered the dressing room in between periods deadlocked in a scoreless tie.
The second period saw Williams Lake continue to claw back into the contest, before they poured it on in the third period scoring twice to seal the 3-1 decision.
The Timberwolves ended the game outshooting their opponents, 32-27.
“We were pretty happy with the 0-0 tie at the end of the first period,” Weil said. “Tamara William, our goalie, since Christmas, has played as well as any girl in the province in net.
“She’s played outstanding.”
Scoring in game two for the Timberwolves were Fisher, with two, and Laine Grace, while Mellott chipped in three assists in the winning effort.
Weil added the progression the team has made since the players began skating together in peewee has been remarkable.
“The first year we played together in peewee, I don’t think we had five wins all year long,” he said.
“Now we’re into 30-plus wins. How this team has developed is remarkable and this year they’re beating the top teams, and it’s nice.
“The girls’ program in Williams Lake is really developing and there are some young girls in the peewee divisions right now coming up who are outstanding.”
The provincials in Fort St. John will feature the top six female hockey teams in the province.
“We’re going to compete in every game,” Weil said.
“And a top-three finish would be great.”