Somewhere, the late Arnie Head is smiling.
It was Head, after all, from Greater Vernon Minor Hockey who encouraged and supported the Village of Lumby starting a female hockey team seven years ago.
Jon Kineshanko has been the coach on the team all seven years, supported by his wife, Sherry. Head was the coach of the Kineshankos’ daughter in Vernon and encouraged her to advocate for a girls team in Lumby to help fulfil a vision he had for girls hockey.
On Sunday, March 13, at the Pat Duke Memorial Arena in the village, the Lumby U18 Female Stars won the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association’s Playoff Banner with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Kelowna.
The playoff championship pairs with the regular season banner won by the Stars, who went 15-1 prior to the playoffs, scoring 110 goals and allowing just 10 against.
Lumby had seven girls in the top-10 of league scoring,with team captain Jordyn Morris finishing on top of the scoring race. Stars goalies Summer Snobelen and Tyra Cunningham had the best stats in the Okanagan league.
With parents, family, friends and community supporters in attendance, including the younger up-and-coming female hockey stars – the ‘Flying Fillies’ – cheering hard, the Stars rallied Sunday from a pair of one-goal deficits to defeat Kelowna.
Lumby went 4-0 in the playoff tournament and the two goals allowed in the final were the only goals scored on the Stars all weekend.
The Stars were down 2-1 in the third period in the championship game (Morris scored the Stars’ opener, set up by Reanne Mueller and Shirelle Nickoli), but with grit and determination tied the contest on a goal from Mueller, set up by Morris.
With less than five minutes to go in regulation time, Lumby used great teamwork, perseverance and determination on the game-winning goal. Morris won a faceoff in the Kelowna zone, drawing it back to teammate Kiel Hayward, who fired the game-winning shot past the Kelowna netminder.
Kelowna never quit. They kept the pressure on, drawing a Lumby penalty with 44 seconds left and pulled their goalie for a two-player advantage. But like they’ve done all year, the Stars played their hearts out and kept Kelowna from tying the contest.
The team is off to Richmond next weekend to represent Lumby in the Richmond Ravens Female Hockey Showcase tournament.
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