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Hear Those Lions Roar

by Janine Hayward

Last year the Saskatchewan Hockey Association made a new ruling that any girls living outside of Saskatoon would not be allowed to register for Saskatoon minor hockey teams. This included the Comets that accommodated many girls from the northern regions. This did not stop those girls that wanted to continue playing the game they loved. They entered teams based out of Warman, called the Wildcat Lions that consists of girls from Warman, Martensville, Langham, Hague, Delisle, Dundurn and Asquith. They were able to get a Midget AA team, a Bantam and two Pee Wee teams. They also had an all-girl Initiation and Novice team as well.

This Lion Peewee team, coached by Todd Lacoursiere, is playing with a lot of heart in the Peewee B division in the SMHA league and were at the top of their division as they headed into playoffs. They were hard to beat in league play and earned a bye in the first round of playoffs after finishing first. Martensville has three players on the Lion’s team; Ella Stow, Alexis Randall, and Bobbi Lightburn. The Peewee Lions dropped their first game in the semi-final playoff game which was their first loss after winning 17 straight and only their second loss this season. They defeated the Wild Stallions 5-1 on Tuesday to advance to the final against the Bobcat Flames. The Lions need to beat the Flames twice for the league Championship.

They are also on a big run in the Female Provincial B playoffs. They faced Northeast in the first round defeating them 6-0 and 6-4 to advance to round two against Turtleford. They continued their momentum in the second-round defeating Turtleford in two games 4-1 and 6-1. They came out as the Northern champions and are playing the Southern Champions – Weyburn, where the winner will become Provincial A Peewee Female champions. Games are slated for the end of March.

One of the accolades the Peewee Lions received this year was bringing home the silver medal in November at the prestigious Wickfest in Calgary. This tournament consisted of 110 female hockey teams from Atom to Midget. The Peewee team had a special visit from Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser which was a highlight. They are competing in a Female March Ice tournament this weekend in Saskatoon.

Lacoursiere is very happy with the Lion’s first year together. It’s not always easy gelling as a unit when you are combining seven communities together. He attributes part of the team’s success this year to the bonding the team has done both on and off the ice. They attend events off the ice as a group such as Blades and Huskie games. “They have become more than team mates, they have become friends and they play for each other out there on the ice,” commented Lacoursiere. “I am very proud of each girl on this team and they make coaching very easy and enjoyable.”

The Martensville Minor Hockey Association is also trying to keep female hockey growing in the area. They are offering all girls Initiation, Novice and Atom teams for the 2020 season. The teams will be called the Martensville Mavens. MMHA is offering ice time on March 23 from 10:45- 12:00 for any girls interested in trying hockey. Come out for a skate.

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