July 20th, 2024

U15 Cyclones gearing up for provincials

By Lethbridge Herald on March 18, 2022.

By Justin Seward
Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge Cyclones female U15A team are in the midst of preparations to host provincials later next week at the ATB Centre.

The team is going in on a high after winning the  Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League banner earlier this month after defeating Red Deer 5-4 on March 6.

“We (are) hosts, but the girls didn’t leave it up to just being hosts,” said Chris Fantazir, head coach.

“They were the Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League champions — so they won their division — so they will be the Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League  representatives for the tournament and so pretty proud of them. It was a good battle — we had strong series with Medicine Hat and then with Red Deer — (and) ended up winning in overtime. So they’re pretty excited and ready to get going here in the provincials coming up.”

The U15A squad beat Medicine Hat in two games by identical scores of 2-0 in the semi-final.

The Cyclones will be joined by Red Deer and Edmonton in Pool A, as well as Sherwood Park, Calgary Red and Calgary White in the B pool.

The team has had no games for three weeks and have ramped up practices in preparation for the season finale tournament.

“Everybody is focused in on provincials and excited,” said Fantazir.

“But just trying to recreate that in practice, stay focused in practice, and yeah just keep that intensity.”

Fantazir says provincials are great way to showcase female hockey.

“So a lot of these teams coming down, all of these kids went through tryouts to make their teams, so it’s a high level of female hockey. It’s the older girls — so there’s good tempo, good pace to these games — and it’s just giving  female hockey in the self another chance to showcase female hockey and just how great female hockey is and how competitive is.”

Fantazir said Provincials are a different ball game.

“First thing, (is) all the teams showing up and you know are champions or runner ups,” he said.

“Maybe they won a title or they had to watch another team win a title, which sometimes can steal those teams as well and push them a little bit more.”

The U15A Provincial Championship will be from March 24-27 at the ATB Centre.

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