Huskies in hunt for Division 2 title
The women’s varsity hockey team at Sturgeon Heights Collegiate refuses to sell itself short.
“There’s a big push to be as successful as we can be,” Huskies assistant coach Erin Johnsrud said. “One of the things we’ve talked about from the beginning is we believe this team has the possibility of winning the whole thing. Anything less for us will be slightly disappointing, to be honest.”
At press time, the team sat in third place in the Manitoba Women’s High School Hockey League’s Division 2 at 10-3-0-0, just one point back of Garden City Collegiate and with a game in hand.
Johnsrud chalked up the team’s first-half success to a couple things.
“One, we’re led by a huge core of Grade 12s. Two of those are our goaltenders, who are both unbelievably solid in net, game-in-and-game-out for us,” she said.
The assistant coach said the team is constantly working to improve and shore up its game on the back end to take some pressure off their two workhorse goaltenders.
“Definitely the thing we work on most and continue to talk about most is just taking care of our own end, playing good defensive hockey, making sure that we’re not giving up any chances we don’t need to,” Johnsrud said.
Bronwyn Holroyde is one of the team’s core of senior students. At press time, she was second on the team in scoring with 18 points in 12 games, a pace of 1.5 points per game.
“It’s been going really good. It’s been really fun so far,” said the 17-year-old centre. “Everyone’s friends, real talkative. It gets pretty loud in the dressing room. I’m an assistant captain, so I got to try to keep everyone ready and focused for the game, but it’s really fun.”
Holroyde said that off-ice compatibility helps the team find chemistry when they strap on their skates and hit the ice.
“We’re playing for the logo on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back,” she said.
While much of the team may be seniors, Ainslie Zubec falls at the opposite end of the age spectrum. The 14-year-old Grade 9 student plays on a club team on which she’s one of the oldest, so jumping into the mix on a high school team full of seniors was a bit of a change.
“It’s honestly something that I’ve never experienced before, but I love the energy in the room,” Zubec said. “Being with the older girls, looking up to them on the ice and off the ice. It’s just an experience I can’t explain.”
Zubec added that the older players have pushed her to take her game to the next level, and even help her with her schoolwork.
The centre, who at press time was third in team scoring with 15 points (1.36 points per game), said she thinks the team is doing a great job creating offence, and personally, she’d like to work on keeping her head on a swivel in order to make plays and spread the puck around more efficiently.
Cody Sellar is the reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review West. He is a lifelong Winnipegger. He is a journalist, writer, sleuth, sloth, reader of books and lover of terse biographies. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 204-697-7206.