The Vancouver Island U-16 Girls Team (Zone 6) finished just out of the medal,s coming in fourth after a tough 3–0 loss to the Thompson–Okanagan team (Zone 2) as the B.C. Winter Games wrapped up in Mission.
It was a close finish for the team from Vancouver Island, who played hard in the round robin portion, coming close to defeating the eventual champions from the Fraser Valley.
Parksville’s Katy Downey, Ashlee Barner and Blayre Paddock were all members of the Vancouver Island team and for Barner and Downey, it was their first trip to the B.C. Winter Games and the second for Paddock.
For the majority of players on either team, it was a time to come together and play as a team instead of taking each other on like they usually would back home in their respective leagues. The formation of these teams with players from teams that normally compete against each other is a challenge, as explained by Thompson-Okanagan coach Terry Olfert.
“This team came together as a group like I’ve never seen before,” said Terry Olfert, coach of the Thompson-Okanagan team. “Some of these girls are playing against each other in playoffs and they put it aside and came together as a team and it was awesome.”
A four-minute span early in the second period decided the bronze medal match. Team captain Molly Box of Coldstream broke a scoreless tie, 87 seconds later Vernon’s Samantha Head scored an insurance goal, and a little more than two minutes after that Allison Borrow of Clearwater completed the scoring.
All that was left was for netminder Kendra Woodland to post the shutout, which the Kamloops native said was a team effort.
“They (her teammates) were moving people out of the way so I could see the shots coming at me,” Woodland said. “They were real strong in front of me and got the pucks out.”
— Tyson Taylor w/ files from the B.C. Winter Games