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LYLE CARTER'S SPORTS SCENE: A close-up on Truro and area female midget AA hockey

TRURO, N.S. – There are four local Wilson’s Home Heating Cyclones female hockey teams that play provincially at different levels.

Wilson’s Cyclones also partner with the Truro & Area Minor Hockey Association in operating an novice girls team. Recently, we watched the midget AA Wilson’s Home Heating Cyclones during game action and in practice.

The Cyclones (4-7-2) hold down fourth place in the five-team Nova Scotia Midget AA Female Hockey League.

The team, which plays two games a week and practices twice weekly, is coached by Ken Dyas. Assistant coaches are Leah Benoit and Carla Hamilton.

Dyas, who has coached locally for 27 years, is in his third season coaching female hockey.

“I enjoy coaching female hockey,” Dyas, of Truro, said. “The girls are really coachable, they listen and they try hard. They give their attention, these girls are all for improving their game.

They ask questions, they listen, they want to get it right.”

Last year’s team had 10 or 11 first-year players.

“With this year’s hockey team, the development and understanding of the game is much better. The players are really handling situations on the ice a lot better. You can really notice the improvement of these young players through the experience they have gained.

They are reacting so much better.”

Dyas said the team is fairly strong defensively and most of their games have been close.

Mykaela Sherry and Sarah Scammell are co-captains of the Cyclones.

“Sarah and I try to make sure we encourage the other players,” Sherry, 17, a right-winger, of Truro Heights, said.

“It’s important to tell players the things they are doing well, it’s the coaches’ job to

make players become better. This is my first year as co-captain, I wore the A with the team last year.”

The grade 12 CEC student shared an early hockey memory.

“I played my first hockey in Debert in novice, I remember being frustrated because I had a tough time skating. It was later when I started playing girls hockey that I began gaining

a lot more confidence in myself. I began having more fun because I could connect with my teammates.”

Following a slow start to the hockey season, Scammell feels the team has improved considerably in recent games.

“Lately, we’ve really come together as a team,” Scammell, 17, a centre from Murray Siding, said. “We’ve started to pick up some wins, we have good potential, for sure. We’re well ahead of where we were last year at this time.”

The younger sister of Julia Scammell, who plays top U.S. college-level hockey with the University of New Hampshire Wildcats, reflected back.

“I kind of started hockey because my dad (Kevin) played. I also took notice to how much fun Julia and her friends had playing hockey. I’d describe it as a lot of fun getting to play hockey nearly every day of the week. You make so many friends through hockey, you get to meet people from all over the country.”

Lauren Miller, 16, a defenceman from Truro Heights, spoke about the team spirit.

“We’re very close, we’re just like one big family. When we go the rink, we have a lot of fun together. There’s not a player on the team who doesn’t want to win or score a goal. We’re very competitive.”

Miller described on-ice action.

“It’s exciting all the time you’re on the ice. Sometimes when you’re tired, you seem to have extra adrenaline flowing. If there’s a time your legs seem to be dead, you somehow find a way to keep going. I find that when we play against higher-calibre teams, like midget AAA teams, these are some of the best games we play.”

Makayla Clark, 16, of Hilden, plays both left- and right-wing.

“I enjoy being pushed in hockey to be better. Besides being on the ice, we’re expected to do dryland training. I find every player on our team wants badly to improve. My goal is to someday play university hockey. When I lace on my skates, I’m always thinking about how I can get better with university hockey on my mind. This is definitely a goal I’m going to try for.”

Players interviewed shared enthusiasm regarding the annual Wilson’s Home Heating Cyclones female hockey tournament which will be played in March.

Lyle Carter’s sports column appears weekly in the Truro News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 902 673-2857.

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