Golden Winter Games for Okotoks girls

Hockey: Big Country skates to top of the podium

By: Remy Greer

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 06:00 am

Zone 2 “Big Country” poses after winning the gold medal in female hockey at the Alberta Winter Games in Banff on Sunday. Five Okotoks girls contributed to the gold medal performance. They are Halle Bodnarchuk (top row, fourth from left), Breanne Trotter (top row, seventh from left), Janae Ramsay (top row, eighth from left), Lacey Dimaulo (top row, ninth from left) and Kennedy Brown (second row, middle).
Zone 2 “Big Country” poses after winning the gold medal in female hockey at the Alberta Winter Games in Banff on Sunday. Five Okotoks girls contributed to the gold medal performance. They are Halle Bodnarchuk (top row, fourth from left), Breanne Trotter (top row, seventh from left), Janae Ramsay (top row, eighth from left), Lacey Dimaulo (top row, ninth from left) and Kennedy Brown (second row, middle).
Photo submitted

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Foothills Medallists

Gold – Badminton (male singles) Mark Lisoway.
Gold – Female Hockey
Janae Ramsay, Halle Bodnarchuk, Breanne Trotter, Lacey Dimaulo, Kennedy Brown.

Silver – Badminton
(female doubles)
Emma Finnegan, Laura Spengler.
Silver – Judo
(Male under 40kg)
Max Brown
Silver – Ringette
Nici Bogstie
Silver – Wrestling (Female 46kg)
Sadie Watkins

Bronze – Badminton
(Team Event)
Mark Lisoway, Emma Finnegan, Laura Spengler, Parker Antal, Nicholas Murray.
Bronze – Gymnastics
(Prov Level 4 - Beam)
Olivia Keegan
Bronze – Gymnastics
(Prov Level 2 -Floor)
Camille Hutka
Bronze – Male Hockey
Jake Ruigrok, Riley Bodnarchuk, Kirby Proctor, Zachary Okabe, Peyton Krebs, Jaevon Buschlen.

For the full list of results go to albertagames.com and find the results
tab.

Foothills girls hockey is carving out quite the reputation at the Alberta Winter Games.

Okotokians Lacey Dimaulo, Kennedy Brown, Halle Bodnarchuk, Breanne Trotter and Janae Ramsay kept Big Country’s gold medal streak in female hockey alive, locking up Zone 2’s third straight title at the games on Sunday in Banff.

“At the initial training camp we knew we were going out there to win … that was our focus throughout the tournament,” said Bodnarchuk, 14. “Going to Winter Games is a once in a lifetime experience and winning gold makes it even better.

“Looking back in 20 years at that game, I’ll remember.”

Zone 2 went a perfect 3-0 through round-robin, outscoring opponents 14-4, before dispatching Edmonton 6-0 in the semifinal and shutting out Black Gold/Yellowhead 4-0 in the tournament final.

“That was our best game of the tournament, we just played our hardest,” said Trotter on Big Country’s improved effort in the final after getting by Yellowhead 5-3 in round-robin.

“We played them before, it was a little rough, but in the final we knew what was coming so we stayed strong.”

Big Country carried a modest 1-0 advantage heading into the second intermission where a sense of urgency manifested itself into a three-goal third period to turn the nail-biter into a comfortable four-goal win.

“We thought we’ve got to get some goals here and win this gold medal for our zone,” said Dimaulo, a Grade 8 student at John Paul II Collegiate. “I just remember being on the ice with about 11 seconds left and the feeling of the crowd cheering us and getting all excited.

“Once that buzzer went, everybody went crazy and threw their gloves up and I just remember all the smiles on everybody’s faces and receiving the gold medal… It was a great experience.”

The team had cohesiveness on its side in Banff.

Sixteen of the 20 players on the Zone 2 roster are members or affiliate player of the Rocky Mountain Bantam AAA Raiders – the runaway leaders of the Alberta Major Bantam Female Hockey League.

“The other teams, lots of them had to come together as a team because they all play against each other throughout the season,” said Okotoks’ Janae Ramsay.

“Most of us, except for a couple, had already played with each other through the whole season. We knew what we each were doing.”

Bodnarchuk echoed the sentiment.

“We’re so close with each other. We have a really good bond,” she said. “All the girls on the team are all around the same skill level and I think that helped unlike the other teams where they’ll have that one superstar.”

Boys bronze

Big Country’s on-ice success extended into boys hockey where six Okotokians helped Zone 2 get onto the podium.

Okotoks Peewee AA forwards Jaevon Buschlen, Zachary Okabe, Peyton Krebs, defencemen Kirby Proctor and Riley Bodnarchuk and goalie Jake Ruigrok earned the bronze medal in Big Country’s 6-5 win over Edmonton’s Zone 6 on Sunday.

Zone 2 finished 2-1 in round-robin, posting humongous 10-1 and 14-1 victories, respectively, before dropping the semifinal by an 8-1 count to Calgary’s Zone 3.

Black Gold/Yellowhead won the gold medal in a 6-0 victory over Calgary.

Zone 2, a sprawling southern Alberta region stretching from Banff to Drumheller and Olds to Cayley, finished with the most medals in Banff/Canmore with 40 gold, 31 silver and 47 bronze overall.


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