BY HEATHER COLLINS
The Red Lake Ladies Hockey League (RLLHL) season is winding down and playoffs are underway. This year, 79 women registered to make up five teams, with 13 players new to the league, five of which are new to hockey all together.
Tess Hayward, president of the RLLHL, says the season ran very well and attributes part of this success to the coaches.
“We had 13 coaches for five teams and if it weren’t for them the ladies wouldn’t be learning and improving like they do. Literally, from walking out on the ice holding the boards at the beginning of the season, to skating with the puck down the ice by the end of the season. As well as learning their position and rules of hockey. The coaches do an excellent job all around.”
Hayward also recognizes the support of Northwest TimberMart, Esker Logging, Righty’s Sports Bar, KO and Above and Beyond Styling for the sponsorship of the league’s uniforms. The Balmer Hotel and Goldcorp also sponsored out-of-town jerseys. The RLLHL shows their appreciation to a generous community and will reciprocate by each year giving a $500 bursary to a female hockey graduate who has played on the Rams Girls Hockey Team.
Hayward says this year’s notable highlight was the “Puck Dynasty” hockey tournament. Ten teams entered, including the five local, and the event was a huge success. Other tournaments were also received positively.
“We did send a team to Sioux Lookout but did not place. A great time had by all though! Ladies from Red Lake played on other teams as well to help with their numbers. The women in Red Lake love their hockey and their tournaments. We are sending two teams to Dryden April 4-6.”
The final game of the 2013-14 playoffs will be on March 27 with a possibility of going until March 30 (if need be). Hayward predicts the A&B Oilers will battle against Righty’s Canadiens for the title.
“I’m a huge Habs fan…so I will stick with the Canadiens,” she adds.