Coaches love to see their players work hard and put in the effort to improve their game.
When they do - good things usually happen on the ice.
The Eastman Selects are competing.
The month started off with a pair of one-goal losses to the Westman Wildcats in Hartney.
The Selects then reeled off five straight wins before dropping a 2-0 decision to the Winnipeg Avros this past Wednesday at the T.G. Smith Centre in Steinbach.
"I think we worked hard but the puck just wasn't bouncing our way," said Eastman captain Lauren Warkentin. "We had some problems picking up passes and we had some turnovers. I think that hurt us the most. For the most part we got shots off but it just wasn't bouncing our way which was unfortunate."
Avros goaltender Danielle Bonot-Schmidt made 25 saves in recording the shutout.
"We were battling. You can't say we didn't battle," said Selects head coach Bill Bram. "We had a lot of shots. It was just a matter of the finish. We missed the net on a few. We had a breakaway and didn't score. In a 2-0 game, one goal would have been huge."
Prior to that loss, Eastman beat the Saskatchewan Female “AAA” Midget Hockey League's Weyburn Red Wings 4-1 & 7-1 at MTS Iceplex during Hockey Manitoba's Showcase Weekend, edged the Avros 2-1 in Winnipeg and then defeated the Central Plains Capitals 4-2 and 3-2 in a shootout in Steinbach.
"They've been working hard on the off-ice part and that's half the battle," Bram said. "We're not the most talented but we're battling. For us to be successful we need everybody going."
The Selects are in fifth place in the Manitoba Female "AAA" Midget Hockey League.
The Wildcats lead the way with 29 points; the Pembina Valley Hawks have 28; the Avros have 26; the Yellowhead Chiefs have 24 and then it's the Selects with 20.
"We've had a lot of one-goal games and these are all the top teams," said Bram. "We've had a good run. Any team I think is beatable in this league. You have to play 60 minutes and we need everybody healthy. If everyone is here, we'll give it a good run."
Eastman will play it's final game of 2016 on Friday, December 30th against the Interlake Lightning in Warren.