This past hockey season was a rough year for midget-aged female hockey in Yarmouth. After five years of icing competitive female rep teams at various minor hockey levels – teams that came away with many tournament, league and provincial championships – this year there weren’t enough available players to make a midget team.
Players then turned to high school hockey. Although unable to join the Valley High School Hockey League to guarantee a regular league season, the plan was to play exhibition games and tournaments instead. The YCMHS Vikings team had also been chosen to host NSSAF regionals, so it was something to look forward to at the end of the season.
However with the NSTU work to rule job action all school sports were suspended in early December. And unlike the high school boys who had a Midget X season over the winter, there was no alternative season for the girls. When work to rule ended in late February, the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation announced regionals and provincials were cancelled for hockey, so for the YCMHS girls those hopes were dashed too.
“Fortunately when the work to rule was over they were invited to two tournaments where they proved their time off the ice would not overpower their determination,” says team manager Shiella Legere, whose daughter Laura was one of the graduating players on the team.
But even those tournaments didn’t go off without a hitch. The first tournament hosted by Avon View was made up mostly of Division 1 schools, whereas the Yarmouth team is Division 2. The tournament was to have run over two days but had to be compressed into one day after a winter storm cancelled the first day of the tournament.
On top of that, the Yarmouth team could only ice 10 skaters and one goalie.
The Vikings lost their first game, but only by a score of 3-0 with goaltender Lindsey Minard getting the MVP for, it was announced, “seeing more rubber than Highway 101.”
In the next game Yarmouth faced off against Auburn High of Dartmouth where the Vikings pulled off a 4-3 win. Laura Legere was game MVP and Lindsey Minard had another great performance in net.
From this tournament the team, still short players, played a tournament in Middleton over the next two days on March 25 and 26.
The first game saw Yarmouth shut out Horton 3-0 with a pair of goals from Meggie O’Brien and another from Laura Legere. Assists came from Legere, Kenzie Muise and Saige Breton. Minard was in net.
The next game saw the Vikings go up against West Kings and it’s full bench in which Yarmouth managed a tie.
In the third game Yarmouth edged out the host Middleton team 1-0 with Kenzie Muise scoring, assisted by Saige Breton and Olivia Eyre. Minard was in net for the shutout.
This advanced the Yarmouth squad to the gold medal game against NKEC. Both teams had only 10 skaters. Yarmouth came away the victor with a 4-0 performance. Scoring were Laura Legere with three goals and Meggie O’Brien with the other. Assists came from Kenzie Muise, Katherine Kini, Grace Hobbs and O’Brien. Olivia Eyre was named game MVP.
Coaching the team were head coach Roy Hamilton and assistant coaches Brooke Hamilton, Paul Legere and Mark Muise.