A group of Northern Manitoba girls who have never played hockey together before won the atom C female provincials Feb. 28-March 1 in Treherne.
Thompson hockey dad Luke Kempers, whose daughter Emily played in the tournament, was brimming with pride and happy for the Flin Flon Bombers’ result
“One of the coaches of the Norman Wild, which is a bantam AAA girls team, wanted to increase female participation in hockey to help build a better bantam system,” said Kempers. “They looked at creating a provincial team to go from the Norman region to play at the provincials. Trying to make it so these girls, who have never played together before, when they reach the bantam level, can get to know each other and not be in an awkward situation when they come for tryouts.”
Kempers said the coach specifically put together a group of girls from Flin Flon, The Pas, Opaskwayak Cree Nation and Thompson.
“My daughter is actually a novice player, so she moved up to the atom team,” he explained. “There were three novice girls in total. The girls went down and played Treherne first, and we won that game. That was a tough game for us because none of the girls had played together before.”
Kempers explained that the coaches and players were figuring each other as well as their opponents out.
“We were all in the same hotel and everybody went for breakfast in the morning and we were all sitting at different tables grouped almost by town,” he said. “So they won that game, and then by the time they got to the second game, they were playing as a team and we won that game and ended up sitting second overall in the round robin. Then on Sunday they played the Treherne team again. They won that game in double overtime. It’s amazing how they never gave up and played all the way to the end. They ended up winning the provincial final over Elkhorn. By the end, all the girls were hanging out together.”