By Ryan McCracken on March 18, 2017.
It was an uphill opening to the Ringette Alberta Open B championships for the Medicine Hat Smash.
The Smash were upended in a 10-1 blowout at the hands of Calgary FSU to open the provincial tournament Friday at The Arena, but as coach David Yip points out, the game was destined to be a challenge.
“It’s really tough for us because we don’t play in their league. The last game we played was on Feb. 17, so haven’t done nothing since then,” said Yip. “FSU was the top of the Calgary league in playoffs.”
Yip added the Smash did what they could to prepare as hosts of the provincial championship, from exhibition contests to extra practices, but none of that brings the same level of intensity or competition as a real game.
“We’ve had a couple practices and we played a men’s team but it’s not the same when you’re playing a men’s team,” said Yip. “They don’t know the rules as well.”
Chelsea Hallick scored Medicine Hat’s lone goal on the afternoon, while Amy Mudri did all she could with a sound effort between the pipes.
“She did well,” Yip said of Mudri’s outing. “I’m happy with her performance.”
Calgary’s Emily Mireault was a force to be reckoned with all game long, racking up half her team’s goals and adding an assist for a six-point afternoon. Brittany Marsh added two goals and two assists and Sarah Bryant posted a goal and added two helpers.
Despite the tough, Yip added he’s confident the Smash will find their groove as the tournament progresses. The action continues Saturday at The Arena, with the Smash taking Sherwood Park at 12:30 p.m. before hosting the Fulton Fury at 6:30 p.m.
“The message is just don’t give up,” said Yip. “We’re better than this and they know it. It was a tough break there to come out so rusty.”
The Ringettle Alberta Opeb B gold medal game is slated for Sunday at 2:15 p.m. The bronze medal game is set for 12:45 p.m.
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