Warriors adept at adapting
Athletes make most of extra ice time due to teammates out sick
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This article was published 23/11/2022 (191 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Westwood Warriors AAAA girls hockey team won’t back down.
Despite battling injury and illness, the Warriors are battling for third place in the Manitoba Women’s High School Hockey League Division 3. With Murdoch MacKay sitting in first, the Warriors are in a battle with the Collège Pierre-Elliot-Trudeau Canadiennes and the Springfield Sabres. At press time, the Warriors, Canadiennes and Sabres all were on seven points.
The Warriors had a record of 3-2-1 through the week ending Nov. 10. With much of the team away due to illness, only about half the lineup was available for its Nov. 9 5-2 loss against Murdoch MacKay.
Gabriela Lerat, the Warriors’ Grade 12 team captain and centre, said her team’s performance at the Transcona East End Community Centre was exceptional, despite having a short bench.
“We really just dug deep and pulled something out of us that had to be there to do well,” said Lerat, who scored both of the afternoon’s goals. Lerat said pacing her performance paid off.
Warriors’ Grade 10 defender and assistant captain Karin Jalonen, who took advantage of the extra ice time, said her team ground through, played its best and had fun.
Both athletes said they were cautious about taking penalties as they couldn’t afford to lose any players. Lerat said keeping her composure and tempering her aggression during the game was essential.
Although Murdoch MacKay was undefeated at press time, Lerat and Jalonen wouldn’t peg the Transcona team as their top rival. They consider every Division 3 team as major competition and have no plans to ease up.
“We play our hardest, it doesn’t matter which team it is,” Lerat said.
To keep opponents on edge, Jalonen is working on passing and shooting, particularly her shots from the blue line. Lerat on the other hand hopes to maintain her cardiovascular fitness, which is especially important during the third period of the game against Murdoch.
Lerat led her team in points earned at press time with three goals and three assists, while fellow forward Lola Parkinson had netted five goals.
The Warriors’ head coach Tytan MacKay noted that this season marks the first time in many years that the team has won three consecutive games.
“We’ve got a few new girls this year that have really helped bolster the back end and helped us on our defensive side,” MacKay said. “A lot of the girls returned from last year as well, hungry and ready to win … They’ve got heart. They’ve got a lot of guts.”
The Warriors were set to play the fifth-place Dakota Lancers at Southdale Community Centre on Nov. 18. The result of the game was unavailable at press time.
Go to www.mwhshl.ca for up-to-date division standings and player stats.
Katlyn Streilein was a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review.