The Caliber Sports Vernon Vixens defended their title in impressive fashion at the annual Merritt Queens On Ice tournament last weekend.
The Vixens, made up of a tight-knit core of family and friends, added a few new ones for the four weekend games from Jan. 17-19. Vickie Taylor, Danielle Grundy, Delinah Erbenich, Ali Rasmussen and Brenda Keay helped fill out their lineup, and the team wasted no time adjusting to new line mates with a dominant 8-1 win to start the tournament.
“We played well,” said Vixens defenceman Cassie Bosworth. “It was our first game of the tournament and we just wanted to go out hard and fast. We worked a passing game, utilizing our speed and working the puck down low.”
The games progressively got tougher as the Vixens beat a tighter-checking Ice Angels team by a score of 4-1 on Saturday, and then narrowly defeated the Kali Storm 2-1 later that same day.
“I think Brenda (Keay), our goalie, had a lot more fun in that (third) game,” remarked captain Christine Duggan. “We left her out a little more in our earlier games, and I think she was glad to see a little more action!”
The final on Sunday morning would see the Vixens playing against home team Merritt’s Chicks with Sticks. It was a solid showing for the Vixens who played classic “team” hockey en route to a 7-0 win, a perfect 4-0 record and an impressive 21-3 goal differential on the tournament.
“While this wasn’t a game as tight as either of the two Saturday games and there was more breathing room, I don’t feel as though a lot of mistakes were made,” said Vixens centre Morgan Zoethout.
“This was one of those games where we could have gotten really lax and potentially made silly errors that could have resulted in goals against, but we didn’t allow that to happen. We kept ourselves really accountable and didn’t let the little things slip.”
Though held off the score board, Zoethout, Erbenich, Rasmussen and Sara Martin were pivotal for many of the goals scored throughout the game.
The Vixens return to action this weekend in their home Adult Safe Hockey league against the Lunachix.