The Eastman Selects are Hockey Manitoba's Provincial Female Bantam “AAA” champions.
The Selects, who defeated the Central Plains Capitals 7-0 to capture the Rural championship, swept the City champion Winnipeg Titans in two straight games at the Notre Dame arena in the provincial final this past weekend.
Tanner Dillabough, Liza Viger, Kyana Brown, Jersey Sexton, Mackenzie Borgfjord & Emily Halverson
"It's unreal," said Selects head coach Chris McColm. "Last year we won the Rural Provincials and that was great because Eastman girls haven't done that in years. We played the City last year and we lost both games in overtime to the St. Vital Vics. It was kind of disheartening. We left it all on the ice last year in the provincials and we just didn't have anything left in the tank. This year - different story. Our team was phenomenal. I've never coached a bantam girls team that had this high level of compete. They just never gave up."
“We had three players out of the lineup due to injuries and what not. Some of our top players and some of these rookies, young girls, they stepped in and took over. It was amazing.”
Colleen Early, Payton Hooper, Alexandrea Bednar, Madelaine DesRosiers, Mackenzie Dixon & Makayla Dorge
The Selects took the series opener 2-1 thanks to Liza Vigier's overtime winner and then captured the provincial championship banner with a 4-3 victory in game two.
"It was special," said McColm. "We took it period by period and shift by shift. That's how the girls felt we needed to focus. We didn't look at the whole game. When we went into the third period that's what we did. We played it shift by shift. Everyone win your shift. Let's win your shift, let's win your battle and things will happen. The time was ticking. We thought we were going into overtime. With 50 seconds left our top player Liza Vigier popped one in for the winner. It was a great feeling."
Laci Gaffray, Camryn Horbaty, Geneva Penner, Cally Phillips, Sophia Reimer, Meagan Relf & Jessica Haner
"It's great to have those vets on your team that learned from their losses last year," added McColm. "They learned how close of a game it is. One bounce here, one bounce there can make the difference in a game. The leadership we had from the girls last year that were rookies I think played a huge role in us taking this final series."
Coach McColm says the future is bright in the region.
"Eastman hockey for females is stepping up and I think your going to see, even at the midget level, there's going to be some championships coming down the road."
- Category: Local Sports
- Written by Clayton Dreger