The Western Riptide White U11A female hockey team is a provincial A champion.
In its first year of operation, the team captured the title with a 3-0 shutout win over the Metro West Force Warriors in the championship final played during the Hockey Nova Scotia Day of Champions hosted in Dartmouth April 10. The day features championship games from U11 to U18 leagues in the province each year.
Dedication and being able to bond quickly were the keys to success for the squad that consisted of players scattered all over Queens and Lunenburg counties, according to its coach, Tim Lowe.
“Through all the shutdowns and everything, very few girls missed practice and they were a tight-knit group. Friendships formed quickly, and the team came together, and we just kept rolling all year,” said Lowe.
“It’s hard to get that many families willing to travel, not only for away games but for home games as well.”
COVID-19 restrictions caused several games to be cancelled throughout the year explained Lowe.
The team was comprised of nine-to-11-year-old girls. Last year there were a couple of separate teams, one in Chester (2021 B league champions) and another in Liverpool in this zone, but this year due to low numbers a decision was made to combine the teams and play at the A level.
Home games were played out of Chester, Liverpool and Bridgewater to accommodate families as much as possible.
The Riptide finished its regular season in second place in the 11-team league. The playoffs included a round-robin format, where each team was scheduled to play each other once, and the Riptide finished in third place with just one loss in seven games.
The girls travelled to Antigonish April 3 to take on the first-place Quad County Black team in the semifinals.
The Riptide ended up winning the game in a shootout, which followed two overtime periods.
“That was a nerve-racking game. It was a pretty emotional game for both sides, but it was fun to be involved,” said Lowe.
Lowe said, however, that the Riptide girls were confident going in and their forwards were able to find the back of the net, while their goaltenders stopped everything that the opposition shot at them.
In that final game, the Riptide goaltenders, Breana Langille and Nevaeh Corkum, shared the goaltending duties. Summer Doucette scored the first goal for the Riptide, and was followed by goals from Paige Lowe and Emberlee Peverelle.
Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin