By Ryan McCracken on March 12, 2018.
The Medicine Hat Tropics became champions of Alberta on Sunday afternoon at the Hockey Hounds Recreation Centre.
Marin Sinclair scored her second goal of the game with nine minutes left in the final period to lead the Tropics to a 3-2 victory over the Bowview Edge in the Ringette Alberta U14A provincial championship final — capping off an epic season on the ice.
“I’m just so excited, all smiles everywhere,” said captain Marley Rose, whose Tropics opened the season on a 27-0 undefeated run before finishing strong with a provincial title. “It feels really good. The girls worked together really hard. We came together as a team and we’ve been working hard for it all season.
“(Bowview) gave us a really tough game and we knew it was coming.”
While Bowview’s Angelina Buonincontri opened the score with three minutes left in the first, Medicine Hat’s Kayla Robinson answered back two minutes later to set up a winner-take-all final frame.
The Edge pushed out in front again when MacKenzie Priestley-Koch scored with 14 minutes left in regulation, but Sinclair took over the game with a pair of goals less than five minutes apart and Tropics goaltender Devyn Amundson shut the door to secure the championship victory.
“The girls played a lot of games this year and they earned it,” said Tropics head coach John Karamanos. “It’s kind of overwhelming right now, they had a great season, they play hard, they love each other, they know the game and it all came together for us.”
Karamanos added every player on the roster bought into the team concept from the start of the season and have played with each other in mind ever since. It led to an incredible undefeated run to start the year, and an even better finish to the season.
“They know what’s best for the team. We’ve talked all year about not being selfish, we’ve talked all year about working for the team, working for the kids, to love each other and work for your teammates,” said Karamanos. “That’s made a huge difference, they accept it’s a team effort.”
Rose added that camaraderie truly paved the way to success this season, as no one was playing for themselves and no one ever felt the need to take they spotlight. They were all in it together.
“We played for each other, we worked real hard as a team, we communicated and we were always together,”saidRose, adding it was all the sweeter getting to win the provincial banner in front of an amped up home crowd. “It feels honestly like a million dollars, we couldn’t ask for anything better.”
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