To celebrate their Thompson Okanagan Ringette League title victory over Kelowna last weekend, the Vernon Adrenaline Rush held a dance party in the dressing room.
They juked and jived to the sounds of Hannah Montana and other artists after a sweet 6-2 win.
That dance party will be trumped somehow if the U14A Rush can medal in the B.C. Under ringette provincials, starting Friday in Vernon. There are 38 entries.
“We came into that game really confident,” said centre Courtenay Bacon, one of the team’s captains who turned 14 the day before Valentine’s Day. “Everyone supports one another and we’re a hard-working team.”
Bacon and teammates Aly Carter and goalie Caenan Wisse represented the zone at the 2012 B.C. Winter Games in Vernon missing a bronze medal by a point.
Maddi Fox turned 14 in early January and the 5-foot-8 defenceman says the Rush are a tight bunch pushed by head coach Ryan Williamson.
“He’s very fair and he tries to keep a good mood,” said Fox. “Whatever he does is good for the team. He definitely wants to win; it’s all about the effort. Our goal all year was to get to the provincials.”
Fox said the Rush are stoked they earned a berth in the provincials by stopping Kelowna, a team they also knocked off at the Sweetheart Tournament in K-Town.
Abby Williamson and Bacon score most of the Rush goals with Williamson taking the aggressive approach for snipe glory.
“I really like crashing hard to the net,” said Williamson, who turns 14 in March. “I work really well with our younger forwards.”
Williamson, who also plays fastball and volleyball, says the Rush defence is efficient clearing the ring out of their zone. She expects Coquitlam to be the team to beat.
Aly Carter used to play the piano, but mainly gets soft hands from her mom, Jen, a former university rifle shooter, and her dad, Warren, a college hockey sniper.
“I’m working on getting better with my stickhandling,” said Aly. “It’s just a matter of more practice.”
The U16A Rush are two-time defending champions and struck gold at the Sweetheart and the Lonnie Krahn Memorial in Calgary, while losing to Sherwood Park in the finals of the Esso Gold Ring in Calgary.
“We encourage each other a lot,” said Alex Drury, 16, a captain and centre. “When someone’s down, we boost them up. “We’re tiny, but we’re fast, and our goalie, Garrett Adams, saves us a lot if we’re having a hard time getting the ring out of our end.”
On head coach Warren Carter, Drury, a centre midfielder in Rep soccer, said: “He’s fair and he shows us respect as long as we respect him. We hear from him if we aren’t trying our hardest.”
Evan Koshure is paired with Emily Williams on the back end and believes the Rush have the moxy for success.
“Definitely, it’s a focus thing,” said Koshure, A Seaton Grade 9 student who also plays hoops, Rep soccer and volleyball. “We all have the skill. Sometimes if we’re not focused, we fall apart.”
Fellow captain Kendra Ostafie, a 5-foot-8 centre, says the Rush communicate well.
“We do team bonding by sitting in the corner of the dressing room and talk about our day. It’s light and it brings us closer.”