Deloraine Minor Hockey hosted the Female Atom A provincials March 3 and 4. The host team was the Southwest Wild Border Kings that are based out of Boissevain. The team includes: Clair Merckx, Aubrey Skelton, Brooklyn Vandaele, Bella Lehman, Rhiannan Phillips, Kadence Mann, Charly Artz, Callie Hilhorst, Brooke Maxwell, Clara Barrows Alice Sanderson, Millicent Wilkinson, Leah Kentner and Kennedy Birch. The Coach/Manager team includes Cory Hilhorst, Paul Artz, Melaine Maxwell and Stacey Wilkinson.
A Closing Ceremony was held on Sunday prior to the Bronze game. The teams were introduced, followed by a beautiful rendition of our national anthem by Charly Artz, Millie Wilkinson and Brooke Maxwell. Cargill is the sponsoring body of Hockey Manitoba provincials. Kelly Wells was on hand to represent Cargill. He brought greetings from Cargill to all the hockey players and everyone involved. Tony Franklin brought greetings from Hockey Manitoba. He expressed appreciation to Cargill for being the sponsoring body of the event. “Female hockey is the fastest growing part of Hockey Manitoba and we hope the interest stays strong,” he said. Reeve Gord Weidenhamer brought greetings from the Municipality of Deloraine-Winchester. “I’d like to thank organizing committee, parents, coaches, canteen workers and all volunteers for making this weekend a success. We hope you have enjoyed Deloraine hospitality in our community during your stay. Carson Schoonbaert, president of Deloraine Minor Hockey thanked the many people responsible for making sure the weekend went smoothly and made it a memorable experience. “I hope you have great hockey games but I also hope you are making memories. As Hall of Famer Paul Coffey has said when asked what his favourite memory of his career was — he said it was always about two hours – the hour before and after the game with his teammates. That’s quite a statement for someone who has won Stanley Cups and many other awards.”
Teams from Cross Lake, Neepawa, Labroquerie and two from Brandon – Atomc Teal Sharks and Atomc Purple Panthers, rounded out the roster. On Saturday, the six teams played off in a round robin of their pools: Southwest Wild won the Black pool — 3-1 win over Atomc Sharks and a 3-2 win over Labroquerie. Sunday morning, Southwest Wild squeaked out a 5-4 win over Atomc Panthers in overtime, which sent them to the gold medal game. In the other semi-final game, Neepawa edged the Atomc Sharks to go to the gold medal game as well.
The two Atomc teams played each other in the Bronze final with the Sharks being victors. Labroquerie defeated Cross Lake for the Consolation final.
The gold medal game was all a final game should be — ending in double overtime. Neepawa and SW Wild were evenly matched and both teams fought hard to earn the win. It could have gone either way, but in the end, Neepawa notched the winning goal. There was a great effort from all the players and the rink was rock’n with lots of fans.
A big shout out goes to Deloraine Minor Hockey as hosts and to Southwest Wild Border Kings host team for presenting an excellent provincial tournament and for being stellar ambassadors for southwest Manitoba!