RISE U16A ringette team just shy of provincial medal

Strathmore’s R.I.S.E Ringette U16A team closed out their first-ever provincial championship, taking fourth place, March 5, just barely losing out on their shot for a podium placement.

According to Head Coach Jamie Rainey, the team placed third overall in the tournament round robin, sending them straight to the semi-finals. Defeated there, the girls were set to play for bronze at the conclusion of the tournament.

“They were pretty devastated that we did not walk away with a medal … Edmonton beat us by one goal and we hit the cross bar that would have tied the game with 1.8 seconds left,” said Rainey. “We barely qualified for provincials, so finishing fourth is actually a great achievement, although the girls might not feel that way since we walked away without a medal.”

Provincials does not mark the end of the season quite yet for the R.I.S.E U16A team, as they still have one game left to play against Airdrie for the Zone 2 banner.

Next season, Rainey will be working with virtually a whole new roster to make another attempt at the run for a provincial medal.

“12 of the girls will all move up to the Under 19 age group, so they will all likely stay together, and then we are left with three girls. Next year, they will be second-years and then we will have girls moving up from the U14 R.I.S.E team to play U16,” she said. “My daughter is actually one of the three girls who is staying down. It was a really good experience for her this year as a first year, and I think that it gave her some good building blocks to be a leader on the team for next year.”

Rainey explained over the course of the season that the team learned a lot about dealing with adversity and remaining consistent throughout a game regardless of results.

“We went through a little period in January where we would come out really strong, the opposing team would score a few goals and then we would just dip down into this dark place of no effort and no positive attitude,” she said. “The girls worked hard on working though that and keeping their effort and attitude at 100 per cent even when we do fall behind in a game. That worked very well for them and they were able to win a few games (at provincials).”

To the girls moving forward, she encouraged them to continue tightening up both their offense, in order to create more opportunities to score, as well as their defense.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times