Tri-pen claims female crown

Kathy Gosse
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Next up Atlantic championships

The Tri-pen girls’ hockey team clinched the provincial midget championship with a convincing 6-1 win over Eastern in the final. Members of the gold medal team are, front row: Heidi Ronayne and Claire Newhook; second row (l-r): Sara Elliott, Nicole Warren, Alicia Gillam, Chelsee Bradbury, Jillian Rodgers, Noelle Russell and Regan Morris; back row (l-r): coach Eric Clarke, trainer April Drake, Jordyn Cole, director of operations Trudy Russell, Nicole Bannister, Dana Thorne, Caeleigh Fewer, Jenny Connolly, Jenelle Blundell, Natalie Keeping, Jennifer Guy and assistant coach Craig Cole.

Tri-pen midget girls hockey team clinched the provincial championship Sunday afternoon at the Goulds arena with a convincing 6-1 win over Eastern in the title game.

The win was the culmination of a lot of hard work and determination by the group of girls.

Natalie Keeping paced the Tri-pen attack with a pair of goals. Noel Russell, Jenny Connelly, Jenelle Blundell and Jennifer Guy each added singles. Heidi Ronayne picked up the win in net.

Chelsea Bradbury was named the team's Most Valuable Player for the tournament.

In their opening game Tri-Pen shut out Central 5-0. They followed that up with a 3-2 win over Eastern and finished the round robin with a convincing 9-1 win over Northern.

Assistant coach Craig Cole says the team dominated the tournament from the start.

"They're a very determined group of players. They knew coming in they had a team that could win and they played hard every shift," says Cole.

Made up of players from six different minor hockey associations including the Bonavista-Trinity, Clarenville Area, Marystown, Trinity-Placentia, Bay Arena and the CeeBees associations, the assistant coach says getting in a team practice can be very challenging.

Heading into the provincial tournament Cole says the team only had one or two full practices. However, he says with today's social media the team stays in touch by Facebook and text messaging, something he says has made them very close knit.

The win at the provincial midget tournament earned Tri-Pen a trip to the Atlantic midget championships. That event is set for March 29 to April 1 in Bathurst, New Brunswick.

Cole says this team has the talent to not only be competitive at the Atlantic tournament, but to win it all.

"This team is basically the same group of players that won the Atlantic bantam title a couple of years ago. Not to blow our own horn but we've got our sights on not only going to be competitive but we're going with the intent to win," says the assistant coach. "We have our sights set on going to the national championships."

While all the girls on the team will get in lots of practice and playing time with their respective associations, Cole says the challenge over the next several weeks is trying to get in a couple of team practices.

"There are a couple of invitational tournament over the next few weeks that all the associations will be playing in. We'll use those tournaments as an opportunity to get in a Tri-pen team practice during the off hours of those tournaments," he says.

If the team is successful at the Atlantic Midget Championships they will compete for the national title in Prince Edward Island April 22-28.

Organizations: Bonavista-Trinity

Geographic location: Atlantic, Clarenville Area, Marystown Bathurst New Brunswick Prince Edward Island

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