“When I have these girls at the rink it’s like I have 15 daughters,” Evans told me before last Saturday morning’s practice at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre. “I’m very proud to be their coach – I’m hook, line and sinker into this girls program. We talk about hair, about boots, about Taylor Swift and we talk about hockey.”
Evans explained that even at a young age, these girls are competitive.
“They want to learn and they want to get better. The team spirit is very high, these girls are very happy when they come to the rink. They are all friends and they cheer for each other. I’m new to it but I’m very impressed. The girls take their hockey seriously.”
Sienna Julien – known to her teammates as “Sipu” – is one of the team’s goaltenders.
“It’s fun playing for coach Evans,” Julien, 10, of Millbrook, said. “This is my second season playing on an all girls team. I really like playing nets, there’s lots of action and I enjoy making good saves and supporting the team. It feels really good to stop a breakaway and do that kind of stuff.”
Right-winger Brooklyn Hayman, 9, of Tatamagouche, shared that hockey provides her with a lot of fun.
“The game gets me moving and keeps me active. I have met new friends this year. It’s my first time playing all-girls hockey. Besides playing hockey, one of the fun things we did, for our Christmas party we had the skybox for a Truro Bearcats hockey game against Campbellton. We had snacks and treats and we exchanged gifts.”
Charlene Bagnell, of Truro, is vice president of the Colchester Female Minor Hockey Association.
“I’m initiating the novice program,” Bagnell said. “Our count is at 15 confirmed. We have an open house at 2 p.m. Jan. 3 at the RECC for female novice players.”
Bagnell said anyone wanting further information can go to the association’s website colchesterfemaleminorhockey.ca.
Association president Jackie Fahey praised the loyalty and hard work of the first year executive.
“We have some great volunteers, about 10 people helping get this new association off the ground. There are many good things happening, like Beth Murray, who plays for the AA midget Cyclones, being an assistant coach with Shawn Evans. This is very positive.”
The first-year female association has approximately 60 players registered.
Home for the holidays
It’s always nice to see athletes return home to celebrate this special Christmas season. Matt Brown, who grew up in Upper Brookside, flew home from Calgary, touching down around 6:30 a.m. last Saturday morning. Shortly after 10 a.m., he was at the RECC cheering on his seven-year-old cousin, Austin Brown, a promising young player in novice ranks.
“It’s really nice to be home,” said Brown, 24, the leading goal scorer in Canada West hockey with Mount Royal University. “I’ve really been looking forward to spending time here in Truro with family.”
Brown is in his fourth season with the Cougars, who hold down third place behind first place Saskatchewan and second place Alberta. By the time playoffs roll around, Brown is hopeful his club can finish in the top two in and earn a berth in the CIS University Cup at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax during March.
Note: Lyle Carter’s sports column appears Saturdays in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 902 673-2857.