Winless Lady Tritons hockey team remain undeterred

Peter Mallet, Lookout Defenceman MCpl Anita Kwasnicki (left) and MCpl Joanne Lyster at the Wurtele Arena before heading to Nationals. The Lady Tritons played in the Canadian Armed Forces Women’s National Hockey Championships at CFB Borden, March 20 to 24.

Peter Mallet, Lookout
Defenceman MCpl Anita Kwasnicki (left) and MCpl Joanne Lyster at the Wurtele Arena before heading to Nationals. The Lady Tritons played in the Canadian Armed Forces Women’s National Hockey Championships at CFB Borden, March 20 to 24.

Peter Mallett, Staff writer ~

Going winless and being outscored by a 38-3 margin over four games might thoroughly discourage most hockey teams, but not the Esquimalt Lady Tritons.

Even before the Lady Tritons departed for the six-day, five team Canadian Armed Forces Women’s National Hockey Championship tournament, March 19 to 24 at CFB Borden, they were well aware their prospects of collecting the tournament trophy or even registering a victory were bleak.

 “Our players knew it was going to be tough going into the tournament, but despite the adversity they faced, they played with so much heart, didn’t lose their cool and definitely created something to build on for next season,” said acting head coach PO1 Dave Hillier.

The Lady Tritons fortunes on the ice began with an 8-1 loss to Ottawa in their opening game, followed by 8-1 to Halifax, 11-0 to CFB Borden, and an 11-1 loss to Cold Lake.

PO1 Hillier, normally an assistant coach with the team, was filling the shoes of head coach Bob Clark who was unable to attend the tournament due to work commitments. While PO1 Hillier admits the results were far less than he and the players had hoped for, he said he enjoyed the experience and would “gladly” do the job again.

“If they had been making stupid plays, showed no effort and were taking dumb penalties I wouldn’t want to do this again, but that certainly wasn’t the case with this group,” said PO1 Hillier. “I’m proud to be their coach because the players reflect the best in the military and the best in the Pacific region and their determination is remarkable.”

PO1 Hillier also praised Lady Tritons goaltenders WO Beth Lacelle of HMCS Ottawa, who played games one and three and was voted team MVP in game one against Ottawa, and Cpl Meaghan Canning, CFB Comox, who performed admirably despite facing upwards of 30 to 40 shots on goal per game.  He also credited team captain Lt(N) Malorie Aubrey of MARPAC HQ with some great play and leadership on the ice, but also some great behind-the-scenes administrative and organization work that went a long way to keep the team together as a unit throughout the season.

The results of the semifinals, final and post-tournament awards banquet were unavailable at press time, but they can be found on the CAF Sports Facebook Page.

PO1 Hillier was hopeful his team had a chance of collecting the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award.

He concluded that he, coach Clark and Lt(N) Aubrey are already looking at building the team for next year, and noted all interested players of varying skill levels are welcome.

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