January flew by, and league play is almost complete. The second half sure has brought a lot of ups and downs for us, with perhaps our greatest high coupled with perhaps our greatest lows so far. But when you play a game that requires so much passion, highs and lows are to be expected.
We started off the second half with a 3-1 loss against Ottawa U. I don’t know what it is about that team, but we always seem to have some trouble against them. The games are always close, thanks in part to the cross-town rivalry elements, but for some reason we can never quite find our game against them. We played perhaps our worst second period of the year, surrendering over 30 shots on net in twenty minutes alone. Our goalie Tamber Tisdale stood on her head, just one of her many impressive performances this season. We did some soul searching over the following week, and by the Saturday we were ready for action.
Saturday January 22nd we played perhaps the greatest game of the season, as we beat the McGill Martlets 4-3 in a shootout. For those of you who follow our league, you’ll know that McGill does not lose often. In fact, that was only their second lose in the last four years of regular season play. It was the first time our school’s women’s hockey program beat theirs, and we could not have been prouder. Every single member of the team contributed to that victory. To pull off big wins, you can’t have anything less than a complete team effort. Every member must make an impact, not just the first line scorers and clutch defensemen. Teams that win need their fourth line grinders and role players and cannot function without them. I have so much respect for these kinds of players, and understand the need to appreciate the role that they play. We definitely had all of this that game, a total buy in, and that is why we won.
And yet the next weekend, McGill came out flying, and handed us our heads at home; they beat us 10-0 in a statement game that set the tone for a rematch February 11th. That game was also our annual Future Stars event. We played host to the Ottawa Ice, a novice team made up of 7 and 8 year olds. I was charged with being their host for the day, and had a blast playing shinny with them and touring them around our rink. The following weekend was our annual Do it For Daron fundraising game, which we play in honour of Daron Richardson, in order to raise money for youth mental health awareness. The event was a success, with our team raising over a thousand dollars for the Do it For Daron foundation.
The team also participated in some community development this month, with different groups of us attending minor hockey practices in the community. It’s so cool to give back to the sport, especially considering how much it’s given us all.
With only four games left to play in the regular season, every point matters from here on out. We’ve already clinched a playoff spot, but now our goal is to clinch third place. We have a big weekend ahead of us, including our rematch against McGill. Let’s hope we’re up for the challenge!