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Macdonald ringette players celebrate championship win
The second time was a charm for La Salle’s Kelly Arran, Oak Bluff’s Lauren Burton and their teammates on Team Manitoba.
The AA U19 Winnipeg Magic won the AA U19 national ringette championship on April 12 in Regina, representing the province as Team Manitoba for the tournament.
The girls had both played in last year’s national competition, which saw the Manitoba team end up with silver after losing 5-4 to Ontario’s Nepean Ravens.
This year, Team Manitoba had a 10-1 record in the championships in Regina and beat the Edmonton Elite 5-4 in overtime.
"We had some unfinished business from last year," said Burton, 17.
Arran, a Grade 12 student at St. Norbert Collegiate, and Burton, who attends Sanford Collegiate, previously played ringette with the Macdonald Wildfire and became teammates about six years ago.
They play on the AA U19 Magic, one of three Winnipeg ringette teams at that level.
Both girls credit the strong bond of friendship and support that exists within the Magic with helping them to fight back from a 3-1 Edmonton lead early in the championship final.
"My team is one of the best group of girls," Burton said.
"My team is really great," Arran said. "It was so much fun."
Some credit for the Manitoba win should go to head coach Rob Walker and the team’s strict training regime. On top of two practices a week and the regular season game schedule that saw the team play one to two games a week, Magic athletes took part in one kickboxing class and one Sport Manitoba strength and conditioning session each week.
"It’s pretty rigorous in-season training," Walker said.
Arran and Burton are trying out for one of 18 spots on the Manitoba ringette team, which will compete in the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, B.C. The team’s roster is expected to be selected later this spring.
Arran said tryouts for this team have been going on for about a year, but she hopes to make the cut and keep on playing the sport she’s come to love.
"I know I won’t make any money from ringette. You just play it because you want to," she said.
— With files from Dan Falloon
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