by Rick Kupchuk
As far as their head coach is concerned, the Thompson-Okanagan (Zone 2) female hockey team enjoyed a successful weekend because of what they accomplished off the ice as well as on it.
The team of 13-14 year-old girls won the bronze medal Sunday morning at the BC Winter Games at the Mission Leisure Centre with a 3-0 win over Vancouver Island (Zone 6), an accomplishment the players shared after spending much of this season competing against each other.
“This team came together as a group like I’ve never seen before,” said Terry Olfert of Penticton. “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. We struggled one game and it cost us.
“But you know what, that’s life. (Today) they said you have to lose to get silver. Today, we won and got bronze so they’re all pretty happy.”
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.”