The Okanagan Hockey Academy Female Prep team won all five of its Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL) Showcase games Feb. 16 to 19.
“Everyone played well. I was happy with everyone,” said OHA Female Prep coach Jim Fetter. “They all stepped up in different situations. I think that is why we were successful.”
Fetter said it was important to do well leading into the CSSHL playoffs in Calgary at Edge School March 1 to 5. Between now and then, Fetter intends to keep the players level-headed. The Female Prep team played well in its first CSSHL season winning 16 of its 20 games. In September they won three of five games and said it was good for them to see what they had and which players would fit certain roles. Fetter said they have gotten better from the first weekend.
Sophie Shirley, 17, committed to the University of Wisconsin, led the team in scoring with 16 goals and 27 points in 15 games. She also played for the Canadian national team in the U18 Women’s World Championship and earned silver. The goaltending duties were split between American Alex Gulstene, committed to the University of Minnesota, and Sydney Carter. She led the pair with two shutouts, while Gulstene put up a 1.65 goals against average and .942 save percentage.
“I’m happy with how fast the new players have developed,” said Fetter, who mentioned rookies Anna MacCara (Yellowknife), Kassy Betinol (Courtnay) and Ali Waterhouse (Williams Lake).
Fetter, who coached Canada’s national under-18 women’s team in 2013, feels his team has as good a chance as anyone to win the CSSHL playoff championship. He knows that while his team finished first, things are different in the playoffs. There is a round robin to be played with the top two teams moving on. The OHA will play five games starting with St. Mary’s and finishing against Northern Alberta.
“Teams can get hot at the right time,” he said.