Season wrap-up for Esquimalt Tritons

Esquimalt Tritons Womens Hockey Team

Esquimalt Tritons Womens Hockey Team

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer — The Esquimalt Tritons Women’s Hockey team remains upbeat about the silver linings of a memorable season.

The team was eliminated in the semi-final round of the Canadian Armed Forces Women’s Hockey Championship, March 21-25, following a 2-0 loss to hosts and tournament champion, 8 Wing Trenton.

“Despite the loss, I’m incredibly proud of this team because we fought hard and never gave up,” said Master Sailor (MS) Roseline Clark of HMCS Vancouver, defender and Assistant Captain.

One of the most glittering silver linings for the season was the team’s 3-2 come-from-behind win over their Maritime Forces Atlantic rivals CFB Halifax to close out the round-robin phase of the tournament on March 23.

Some hot action by the Tritons on the ice

Some dramatic action by the Tritons on the ice

“We knew once we got on the scoreboard, we would gain momentum to score more goals against Halifax,” MS Clark said. “We needed that win and beating Halifax was a huge morale booster.”

A convincing performance at the Canada West Regionals tournament buoyed the Tritons’ optimism heading into the tournament. The team went undefeated in Winnipeg and outscored the opposition 42-4 over four games.

In the women’s semi-final clash in Trenton, Sergeant (Sgt) Heather Weaver of 8 Wing scored what proved to be the winner for the hosts midway through the second period. The Tritons opened the tournament with a 5-0 loss to Trenton, followed by a 7-0 loss to Valcartier. Trenton went on to defeat Halifax 2-1 in the championship game and capture this year’s women’s hockey crown. 

MS Clark says some of the Tritons’ standouts on the ice this season included their top line of forwards: Acting Sub-Lieutenant (A/SLt) Kayla LeTouzel, A/SLt Frédérique Gauthier, and Captain (Capt) Amanda Lauder. The trio scored all three goals in the victory over Halifax. The team also got some big help from several pick-up players from other bases in Canada West that MS Clark says helped significantly bolster their squad at Nationals. They included Lieutenant Laura Turner (CFB Shilo), Corporal Laura Lighthall (Comox),  (Capt) Jami Boyd (1 Health Services Group), Capt Tracy Dixon (Winnipeg), and Major Pam Harris (Winnipeg).

Even though the team did not hoist the national championship trophy this year, the esprit des corps opportunity was the big takeaway for the Tritons, says MS Clark.

Tritons fighting for the puck

Tritons fighting for the puck

“It’s an incredible feeling to represent CFB Esquimalt on the ice while meeting new people and building connections with people from across Canada,” she concluded. “Athletic competition like this encourages members to get in better physical shape and push themselves past their comfort level.”

MS Clark says the level of competition in the CAF keeps improving, noting how several players on her team and across the CAF have played elite and university-level hockey. She is hopeful a Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) team can be formed for future World Military Games competitions.

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