The Tri-Port Midget Wild conquered the Lower Mainland at the Richmond ‘Ice Classic’ hockey tournament.
“Winning the tournament capped off the season perfectly for the Wild,” said Head Coach Mike Bell. “All their hard work came together and it amounted to gold medals.”
The Wild had their first game Friday night against the Nanaimo Clippers, but it was the Clippers’ Stephanie Beutler who got her team on the scoreboard first, scoring at 1:45 of the first period.
The Wild’s Taylor Ranger answered back in the second with two goals of her own, assists going to Bree-Anna Henderson, Kerrigan Sharpe, and Mackenzie Murgatroyd. Murgatroyd then found the back of the net at 7:00 to give the Wild a 3-1 lead.
Beutler scored again for the Clippers at 6:47 to cut the lead down to one, but the Wild took over from that point on, thanks to goals coming from Mercedes Trevor and Henderson (assists going to Merrick Browne, Sonja Walkus, Sharpe and Ranger), giving them a huge 5-2 win to kick off the tournament.
The Wild played again Saturday morning against a team from Victoria, and this one turned out to be a real nail biter.
Trevor came out firing in the second period, scoring at 12:06 (assisted by Chloe Noel) and 6:48 to give the Wild a two-goal lead. Ranger then scored at 5:41 to make it 3-0.
Victoria’s Erika McClung answered back with 2:03 left in the period, cutting the Wild’s lead down to two, and then in third period, Mickeely Rippen found the back of the Wild’s net at 10:06 to bring them within one of tying it up.
The Wild managed to hang on until the buzzer sounded, giving them a 3-2 win, but they still had another game that afternoon to play against the Juan De Fuca Grizzlies.
The game against the Grizzlies was a penalty filled affair, with the Wild spending 38 minutes in the box for various infractions.
Even with all the penalties, the Wild still managed to pull off a gritty 3-1 victory, with goals coming from Henderson (x2) and Ranger.
“The girls did awesome regardless, and still won the game while being shorthanded two girls for almost all of the third period,” said Team Manager Serena Foldy.
With the win over the Grizzlies, the Wild had qualified for the semi-final against Victoria on Sunday morning.
This game was another razor thin battle between the two tough teams, which saw Trevor and Ranger score for the Wild in the second period to secure them a 2-1 win that granted them a shot at gold later in the afternoon against the Clippers.
The Wild showed up ready to go for the final game and were determined not to lose. The girls brought the action right to the Clippers from the drop of the puck, scoring six unanswered goals over three periods courtesy of Ranger (x2), Henderson, Sharpe (x2), and Madison Van Will, winning gold medals and the Midget C Division banner.
Bell felt the team “Were absolutely outstanding — we had four very close games and then they completely dominated the last game,” adding the Wild’s passing was “Second to none, we actually got compliments on it from everyone.”
As for the penalty filled game against the Grizzlies, Bell noted it was “good for the girls, they really learned a lot by battling through it.”
Bell also pointed out Ranger excelled all weekend in “her office” in front of the net, and he praised the team’s defence crew (Van Will, Mandy Foldy, and Noel) as “the backbone of this team — They get lots of ice time and they don’t wither, they don’t back down from anyone.”