At the year-end hockey awards banquet for the Tri-Port Female Program, the Bantam/Midget Tri-Port Wild’s
Coach Andrew Laming was presented with a very personalized piece of art, created by local artist Jeremy
Browne, from the entire Wild team to commemorate how much his efforts were appreciated by them and their
families this past season. In an interview over the phone, Laming said that he’s been dedicated to coaching
hockey “for the last 10 years straight now. Once my kids started playing I’ve pretty much been coaching ever
since.” After doing a little bit of figure skating as a young child, Laming grew up playing minor hockey in Port
Hardy. He represented the North Island in the Rep league and then went on to play four years of Junior hockey
for the Victoria Cougars. In his fifth and final season, 1994-1995, he played for the Prince George Cougars and
racked up 22 points in 48 games. After his hockey career ended, he transitioned into coaching the sport and
has since coached many local Tri-Port teams, ranging from first year Peanuts, to Novice, to Atom and PeeWee
Rep as well. This was Laming’s first time coaching a girl’s hockey program specifically, and “every season you
get some good stuff and some bad stuff. This season though, there was nothing bad about it at all. Everything
was great and it was an all around amazing experience,” said Laming, adding that when it comes to coaching a
girl’s hockey program compared to the boys, “there’s not much difference at all. The girls have the same drive
and want to win just as badly as the boys do.” Once there were enough girls registered to form a team for the
2015/2016 season, Laming was approached by the players and their parents to coach and he had zero
hesitations when it came time to step up and take on the task at hand. “I had expectations for them right from
the start,” said Laming. “I wanted them to work hard, show up, and represent the team well. Every single one of
them bought into the system, which is to play hard and have fun, and they really did. Everyone on the team
believed they could achieve great results, and it showed by the end of the season. You gotta find a way to get
through to every kid, otherwise what are you coaching for?”At the start of the season, the Wild just wanted to
win enough games to qualify for the four-team playoffs in Parksville, but once they’d played a few games they
saw they’d had “quite a bit of success” and it was then the Wild knew they were “capable of competing and
winning against every team in the league,” said Laming, also adding that from the start of the season to the end
of the season, “the improvement was 100 per cent for some of the girls who were newer to the sport, but
overall every player improved a ton and most importantly had fun.” The Wild ended their first season with a 2nd
place finish in the female midget league standings, posting an excellent 8-3-1 record with 48 goals for and only
27 goals against. The year-end statistics clearly showed “all the hard work they’d put in and I couldn’t be more
proud of what they’ve achieved,” said Laming. As far as the Wild’s semi-final’s playoff game March 5 in
Parksville, it was “a very close game,” he said. “We had some sick players, and they really battled through all
the adversity and tried their hardest to win in spite of the odds against them.”Laming stated that he was also
incredibly proud to see that throughout the entire season, no matter what happened, “the team got along great
and included each other in everything. I’ve never seen any team do that as well as they did,” adding that while
he doesn’t have one particular favourite moment from the season, “getting to see the girls improve and come
together and support one another” is what really stood out to him the most as a lasting memento of the Tri-Port
Wild’s first official year as a team. Player awards given out at the banquet were as follows:
Most Valuable Player – Avary Miller.
Most Sportsmanlike Player – Bre-Anna Henderson.
Most Improved Player – Crystal Tapp.
Esso Medallions Most Dedicated Player – Madison Van Will.
Esso Medallions Most Sportsmanlike Player – Tyanna Laming.
Esso Medallions Most Improved Player – Kaitlyn Wilson.
Special ‘Digger’ Award – Taylor Ranger.