Dinos helping Oilers’ game evolve
Hockey: Okotoks young female players gain five new role models
Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017 06:00 am
Some Dinos with NHL pedigree are now mentors for young Okotoks female hockey players.
Five members of the University of Calgary Dinos women’s hockey team helped coach the Okotoks Atom Oilers White at the Piper Arena as part of Skate With a Dino festivities on March 1.
“Our coach asked us to come out and help run a practice out here,” said Dino Kate Lumley. “It’s something we are happy to do. When we walked into the dressing room, we got around of applause.
That doesn’t happen very often.”
Okotoks Atom Ashley Williams had a smile on her face and a little extra oomph in her skating thanks to the guest coaches.
“This means a lot because we get to practice with somebody that we could become someday,” the nine-year-old Williams said. “It makes me want to do it when I grew up.”
Williams travels from Arrowwood to get the opportunity to play girls hockey.
Lumley, who’s father Dave Lumley won a pair of Stanley Cup rings with the Gretzky-era Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s, grew up in St. Albert and was able to play female hockey her entire career.
“My mentor was obviously my dad and of course, everyone grew up idolizing Hayley Wickenheiser,” Lumley said. “I was fortunate to play with her for one-year at the U of C.”
She said when she was really young, she had dreams of playing in the NHL. As she got older, she realized hockey provided an opportunity to further her education.
“The CIS has become definitely competitive,” Lumley said. “At first I wanted to play in the United States and as I got older, I decided to stay closer to home.”
Dino Sara Craven also bought some NHL experience with her. Her father Murray played for the Vancouver Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers and four other NHL teams. He is now a vice-president with the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights.
She had to play boys hockey while growing up in Whitefish, Mont.
“We had a house-league girls team but it wasn’t very competitive,” Craven said. “So I played boys hockey.”
Unlike the young Okotoks ladies on the ice, she had to leave home to play girls hockey.
She ended up playing for The Edge in Calgary before joining the Dinos. She loves to see the hometown girls playing in their hometown.
“To come and see these girls, after we’ve had a really long hockey season that didn’t work out as we liked, to see their smiles on their faces, it’s a reminder of why we love this game so much,” she said. “I didn’t get that opportunity to have a girl role model.”
Her role model was her dad Murray Craven.
There’s another place similar to Okotoks that loves girls hockey l – her hometown of Whitefish.
“It’s really big now – we actually just won state,” she said.
Atom White coach Rich Glubish was more than happy to get the help from the five Dinos.
“The girls look up to other females as role models,” Glubish said. “In coaching, we have many males who are involved in the sport, the more females we can get involved the better. It’s an inspiration for the girls and someone they can look up to.”
He saw the added inspiration first hand.
“The assistant coaches and I were just commenting how hard the girls were skating with the puck,” Glubish said with a smile. “Some of the girls, we have never seen skate that hard and carry the puck so fast. I think it’s because of the UC players who were out there helping us tonight.”
The other Dinos included Sasha Vafina, who is joining the Russian national team for the World championships, Morgan Loroff and Paige Michalenko.