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Penticton girls have fun developing their skills
Penticton’s bantam female rep hockey team was swept from the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association playoffs, but that didn’t put a damper on their spirts.
“It’s been a learning experience, I think, for a lot of the girls,” said Vees coach Shawn Carter, who was happy with the year. “It’s the first time they have played rep hockey. We have a young team, that’s a big challenge for them to go play a Kamloops team (tops in the league) that has mostly second-year players.”
After losing in Kamloops 6-0 Saturday, the Vees lost 11-1 at home in Memorial Arena Sunday.
“I didn’t think we played as well yesterday. Today (Sunday) I thought we came out a lot stronger. Didn’t get the breaks at the beginning,” said Carter.
The Vees coaches were happy with how hard the players competed and supported each other. Not only did they celebrate enthusiastically after Faith Stark scored, but the players rushed to goalie Faith Marcotte after making a big save on a breakaway late in the game.
“It felt good,” said Marcotte on having her teammates give her praise for the save. “I was getting really frustrated at that point. The shot went right to my glove. That wouldn’t have really done anything. My glove is my stronger side.”
When the Vees were in the offensive zone, Carter liked the chances they created. However, he said they needed to do more of it. To him, they turned the puck over too often.
Marcotte, who joined the team from the South Okanagan, said they had a good year despite not winning a lot. The OMAHA website shows they lost all 12 games, but were the least penalized team with 46 minutes.
“We all had a lot of fun and a lot of us made new friends,” she said. “Lots of positives.”
“I think we had a great year, we started off slow,” said Stark, the Vees other goalie “We developed. (The playoffs) was difficult but I think we battled pretty hard.”
Throughout the season, Carter said, the players improved in their skill development. Prior to the season, none of them knew how to play a system.
Carter also praised the work of Stark and Marcotte, who were solid all year. Entering the season, Marcotte said she wasn’t very strong in her position and improved her butterfly play.
“I couldn’t really do any slides or anything,” she said, adding now she is able to move quicker and slides better.
Stark improved her skating ability, while having fun with the group. That was the most important factor for her.