It was the rubber match to end all rubber matches. It was also one of the most fun times of the school year for both students and teachers at Williams Lake Secondary School.
The third annual Williams Lake Secondary Hockey Classic, pitting the school’s female hockey players against the teachers, hit the ice at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex last Wednesday afternoon.
And with both the teachers and the students heading into the tilt clutching onto one victory a piece from years past, the stakes were high.
The inaugural year saw the girls march away with a tightly contested 6-5 overtime win. In year two it was the teachers answering back with a 6-5 regulation triumph.
This year, it wasn’t even close. The girls stormed out of the gates providing little chance for any teacher offence throughout, skating to a 5-0 shutout victory.
After one period, with goals from Alena Mayer and Alexa Nelson, the students took a 2-0 lead. In period two Nikky Leah lit the lamp to make it 3-0 before adding another in the third, followed by Mayer’s second, to cap off the scoring.
In goal and earning the shutout for the girls was Columneetza secondary’s Bailey Schick.
Mayer, jestingly taunting the teachers, asked teacher and game organizer Morley Wilson what went wrong for his club.
“We skate faster than them,” she joked, adding it was the most satisfying student win yet. “And we had the puck about 95 per cent of the time.”
Wilson pointed to the inexperience of the teachers as the reason for the loss.
“I played hockey for three years from 1977 to 1980, and then I played a couple years of rec hockey,” he said. “We had a few teachers who have played — Mr. Levens, Mr. Bouchard, Mr. Duff and Mr. Micacchi — and we had some who just learned how to skate. We also had a couple ladies out there in their figure skates.”
Mark Thiessen, School District 27 superintendent, also took part in the game.
Wilson added the game is probably the highlight of the year, as most of the school comes out to watch, and is a great chance for the female hockey players in Williams Lake to play together as a team.
The idea to start the WLSS Hockey Classic came about a few years ago during a conversation with a student, Madison Smith.
“We were just skating at the rink talking during a P.E. class and talking about girls playing hockey,” he said. “We started talking about how we should recognize the girls who play hockey and it turned into this game.”
Smith, who said she hasn’t played house league the past two years, strapped on her skates for the game.
“The highlight for me is getting all the girls together,” she said. “It’s just a lot of fun and a good time.”
Leah, who has played in goal for the girls the past two years, said it was fun to play out this year.
Nelson said the everyone at the school gets involved.
“It’s great because everyone in the school comes out,” Nelson said. “We had coaches on our team who were in Grade 12, an announcing team and refs from our school.”
With another win in the record books the girls will now get to walk past the coveted WLSS Hockey Classic trophy, inscribed with their names, in the hallway for the rest of their high school careers.
“The trophy will have the scores on them and it will go up,” Wilson said.
“So far they’re pretty humble about their crushing win over the teachers.”