You can add two more names to the growing list of female hockey players from these parts playing the game they love at a high level.
Enter Beth Goodman and Celine Tardiff — two local girls that have been selected to suit up at the prestigious U18 Girls B.C. Cup.
A big accomplishment to be sure, only a select group of young B.C. athletes are chosen for this event.
Goodman, a Grade 10 student at Ballenas Secondary School, has been playing hockey for seven years.
‘Goody’ to her teammates, she played defence this past season with both the Oceanside Red Rave Midget Boys house team and also on the Oceanside Icebreakers female house team, but was selected to the B.C. Cup as a forward.
There were no tryout camps for the U18 Girls BC Cup — players were scouted all over province and the chosen few were invited to lace up in the B.C. Cup slated for Salmon Arm May 8-12.
Eighty girls from all over B.C. were selected, and will be divided into four teams.
From this tournament 24 players will be selected to go to Team B.C.’s summer training camp where they will vie for a spot on the National U18 Girls team that will compete in Sweden at the upcoming U18 Girls World Championships.
While Goodman doesn’t have a lot of experience playing forward, she does have some, she said, explaining how last year she made the Island’s U16 Girls B.C. Winter Games team as a forward.
“That was really fun, a really good experience,” she said, adding “I’ve kind of always played wherever they need me to play.”
The first two days are for the teams to practice together.
Worth noting is that there were only 14 girls from the Island chosen to compete in the B.C. Cup, and only three of those actually played on the Island — the rest of the girls are from hockey academy’s in the Interior.
Goody said she got word she’d been chosen to the tournament just before she left to volunteer at the U16 Girls B.C. Cup in Duncan the end of March.
“I was hoping,” she said easily when asked if she thought she’d made the team, “but being only 15 and being a first year (Midget player) I didn’t really expect it. When I got home and my parents told me, I just got overwhelmed and started crying,” she said. “It was a great feeling.”
Asked about her longterm goals, the 5’6” spark-plug sure sounded certain.
“I’m trying really hard to get a scholarship for university,” she said. “And of course one day be on the Olympic team.”
The NEWS wasn’t able to connect with Tardiff, who is in Penticton preparing for the tournament, but the girls Icebreakers’ head coach Mike Squire had good things to say.
“Celine is an all round skilled athlete that first started with the female Icebreakers program at the Peewee age level,” he explained, adding “from there she quickly developed her skills in both female recreational and regional competitive teams.”
A strong skater not afraid to force the issue, Tardiff, he added, is solid on defence “and often helps lead the rush into the offensive zone.”
Goodman, said, Squire, “packs a hard shot and is a very versatile player that can play both defence and forward. She is a true power forward and her biggest asset is the ability to charge through hard checking defence and drive the net.”
“As a coach it is good to see these girls achieve their goals and makes me proud of them,” said the longtime local volunteer coach. “Particularly given that they came up through the grass roots of the Oceanside female hockey program.”