It was a weekend of firsts for some of our 14u players as the ladies made their way to Denver, Co for the Silver Sticks hockey tournament. As Coach Scott Squires explains, this was the first time many of the girls have played in a tournament or even on the road. “Denver was close to us so it made sense, “ Squires elaborates, “and we knew we would be competitive.”
And competitive they were, tying games and keeping it within 1 to 2 goals in others. What was important was maintaining focus. “We have a good base physically, Coach Natalie Rossi said, “we just had to remind them that it’s THIS shift, THIS game and they need to stay in it because it determines whether you have another game or not.”
The close games gave the girls much needed confidence and according to Squires “showed them that they CAN play at this level.” Both Rossi and Squires agree that keeping positive and focusing on the successes kept them holding their heads high. “We have a great locker room, they support each other.” said Squires.
Two of the girls walked away with extra recognition for their attitude and performance. Riley Benson earned the MVP award and Marissa Forman, goalie, took home Most Inspirational. When asked what was most exciting, both girls agreed that the team bonding was the best part experience. Benson felt great about her MVP honor saying that she felt valuable to the team and the tournament showed them all what they can become as players.
Forman focuses on maintaining her positivity on and off the ice and said that she really liked playing girls from other states. “They aren’t that many girls that play here (Arizona) and it was nice to see others like me.” Like Benson, she feels that the team only gets stronger and closer with each tourney and trip.
The 14u girls travel again in January and are looking forward to another rewarding experience!