April 25th, 2024

Hatters win ringette gold at Alberta Winter Games

By JAMES TUBB on February 20, 2024.

SUBMITTED PHOTO Margot Kerr, Ryleigh Jackiw, Rebecca Jackiw, Jenny Wright, Leighton Wright and Erika Want pose after the gold medal ringette game Sunday at the Alberta Winter Games hosted in Grande Prairie. Kerr, Jackiw, Want all won gold with Zone 2, with Wright earning silver on Zone 3.

jtubb@medicinehatnews.com@ReporterTubb

Medicine Hat ringette was atop and all around the podium at the Alberta Winter Games this weekend.

Three Medicine Hat ringette players and a coach won gold and another won silver at the U16 ringette tournament at the 2024 Alberta Winter Games hosted in Grande Prairie.

Hatters Ryleigh Jackiw, Margot Kerr and Eriak Want were on the Zone 2 ringette team with assistant coach Rebecca Jackiw who won gold with an 8-3 victory over Zone 3, which featured local product Leighton Wright.

Hatter Breanna Lanuk also played in the tournament, finishing seventh on the Zone 7 team.

Rebecca Jackiw says she wasn’t originally slated to coach but took the role at the last minute and enjoyed every second. Getting to see players she’s coached for years have the success against Alberta’s best was an experience she says she won’t forget.

“Obviously coaching Riley was really special because she’s my daughter and just being on the bench with her in such an incredible atmosphere was really, really wonderful to do,” Jackiw said.

“It was so nice to be able to have that time at the rink together, get to watch other sports together and see what our province of this age of athletes has to offer. We have very, very skilled kids in this province, so it was good to see that.”

She spoke about the impact Kerr and Want had for the Zone 2 team in their win.

“Erica is a great defender, she has a great shot as well and it was really great to coach her in this event,” Jackiw said. “She had a couple goals from the point as well. And so yeah, she was really, really good.

“Margot was one of our younger players on our team as she is on our Medicine Hat team. You wouldn’t even know she was one of the younger girls out there, she held her own and she had four goals in the gold medal game, so she was sniping today.”

The opportunity to play against Alberta’s best and meet new teammates made the weekend more special to her daughter Ryleigh.

“I’m so grateful I got the opportunity to play with a new set of girls I’ve never gotten to play with and learn new strategy and how to work with new people, I loved it,” Ryleigh said.

She’ll add the Alberta Winter Game medal to her trophy case that already features an Alberta Summer Games gold medal, having won first place in softball this past summer.

“To win softball and ringette in the same year was a good experience,” she said.

The Zone 2 team was 2-1 through the round robin, with their only loss to Wright and Zone 3, who went 3-0 in their round robin. After both teams won their semifinals matchups, it set up a gold medal rematch that had implications on and off the ice.

The Jackiw family drove to the tournament with the Wrights, a truce had to be declared regarding rides home pending the result of the gold medal game.

“We almost left them there but I was feeling nice,” Wright joked.

While she was on the opposing side of her Medicine Hat teammates winning gold, Wright says she enjoyed the new teammates and has some lessons she’s looking to apply when donning the gold and green again.

“I feel I can bring a lot of stuff down to my own team from what I learned from my new coaches, on how to win play downs and provincials maybe even, too,” Wright said.

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