Women's teams play strong at Delta tournament

For the last few years, the Sunshine Coast Women's Hockey League has been represented at the female international tournament in Delta.

This year the tournament got a double dose of the Coast women.

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Mugsy's Mavericks played in the four-team 'C' division and was recognized even by the refs as the team having the most fun. Though they lost their first game 3-0 to a team from Seattle, they were not discouraged.

"That was a great way to start the tournament. They were such a friendly team and I think everyone genuinely enjoyed the hockey," said Laura Simons.

Their second game was against the team that easily won the division, and while the score was lopsided, the Mavericks broke the scoreless streak with a goal from Grace Bland, assisted by Andrea Unger in the second period.

In their third game, the Mavericks, thanks to goalie Rylee Eagles, kept their opponents to two goals and rookie Thea Mahar missed by inches hitting the post in the second period. Several other Mavericks were playing their first season of hockey, taking advantage of the league's philosophy of inclusiveness and focus on developing new players.

"All the girls are very supportive and never have a negative thing to say," said Mahar about the league. Maverick MVPs for the weekend were Bland, Dani Thompson, and Dorian Bell, with special mention to Kat Leander and Unger for their work ethic and sportsmanship.

Coastal Chaos played in the higher-level six-team 'B' division, and went 1-1 in the round robin, earning them a spot in the semifinals.

Their first contest was a 4-3 loss that started with a period that lived up to the team's name, being outscored 3-1. After that, the team united, but wasn't quite able to catch Team Red Bull.

Chaos went down 1-0 in their second game after Inferno scored on the power play. Chaos pressed on and got two in the second period from Ashleigh Hanson and Nancy Palmer.

The third period got slightly dicey, with Chaos being pinned in their zone for the last few minutes of the game, but they managed to hold off the opposition, even with their goalie pulled.

The win gave Chaos a boost, though they knew they'd have a tough time in the semifinal against the first-ranked team from Langley.

That game was fast-pacedand ended up being too much for Chaos to handle, though goalie Kelsey McHolm did her best to keep them alive. The teams were extremely supportive of each other, cheering from the stands if they weren't on the ice themselves. A couple of the Chaos players helped out on the Mavericks bench, giving tips and, most importantly, leading cheers.

If you're interested in playing hockey here on the Coast, the league (seescwhl.comor their facebook page) will start up again in September with games in Sechelt and Gibsons. New players aged 13 and up are welcome. There will also be a women's hockey school at the end of August for anyone who wants to learn the basics or improve their skills.

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