The skinny on shinny at Hal High

Girls Hockey ousted in first playoff round – but they’re here to stay

By Terrance Gavan

Well, it ended with a whisper and not a roar.

The Hawks girls’ inaugural hockey campaign exited stage right last Thursday in Peterborough with a 4-0 quarter final loss to Thomas A Stewart Secondary.

Which was sad for all of the girls who invested heart and soul into this program.

Sad too for coaches Vince Duchene, Dan Marsden and Bruce Griffith.

But nothing that a March Break won’t resolve.

And no reason for drooped heads or laconic backward glances.

This was after all a banner season for HHSS hockey.

This team of girls became the first team ever to compete for Hal High.

It was a learning process to be sure.

But the mere fact that the hawks’ girls managed to squeak into the playoffs was a payoff.

Did it legitimize their season?

No of course not.

That happened long ago.

With the first electrifying goal; their first win; and their first appearance at the Dysart Barn.

Kudos to all the girls who made this season so memorable on so many levels.

Marsden, the Hal High principal, is looking forward to next year already.

Most of the remaining nucleus is intact.

Paige Roberts is graduating, but Julia Fedeski, Jessica Duchene, Jillian Mayhew, Sam Tallman, and Megan Allore are all returning.

Marsden, mellow and philosophical, handed me a few notes last Monday.

A season in denouement.

Thoughtful words from a thoughtful mentor.

“This inaugural season capped off six years of recreational hockey established by Ms%^$#@!. Mitchell and Bruce Griffith,” says Marsden. “A compassionate plea and love for the game generated our late entry into the 10-team Kawartha League.”

Marsden says that the balanced nucleus will broaden their reach next year.

“Great total team effort girls,” says Marsden. “Your passion for the game shines through. Expectations will be high for next yearas we take our experiences another step further.”

Marsden adds that there are several players coming up from JD Hodgson and the Bantam ranks.

“We probably have three or four girls coming into grade nine who will be able to play,” says Marsden.

Better than that?

This breakthrough, like a lot of first steps, will provide a jumping off point; a reminder to young girls from Kindergarten and beyond that hockey encompasses a whole range of possibilities.

Nice season girls.