Local teams medal in hometown ringette tournament
A trio of Airdrie ringette teams captured medals at the 25th annual Airdrie Ringette Ring of Fire tournament, Nov. 9 to 12.
After winning the U19 gold medal last year, the Airdrie Sting made it back into the finals, but lost to the Lacombe 11-7 to claim silver.
It was a winning weekend for the Airdrie U14 teams. After winning their respective pools, the Sting White and Sting Blue both put themselves in medal contention. The Sting White defeated the Spruce Grove Titanium 6-4 in the crossover game, but lost to the Saskatoon Storm in the gold medal final.
The Sting Blue lost its crossover game in a 6-4 decision to the Saskatoon Storm, but rebounded to defeat Spruce Grove 5-4 to win bronze.
While the medals were welcome achievements for Airdrie Ringette, Mike Crawford, public relations for the club, said the highlight was the exhibition game between the Mount Royal and University of Calgary teams. It gave the younger players a chance to see the game played at an elite level and also showcased some of the community’s budding players. A pair of U7 teams took to the ice and along with the university teams, put on a show for the spectators.
“All of the older players stuck around and engaged (the younger players) in the game,” said Crawford. “It was heartwarming. People were talking about it all weekend and it was nice to see. The sport is really community oriented and it was great that the kids did that.”
While medals were only handed out for the U12, U14, U16 and U19 divisions, it didn’t stop the younger teams from succeeding. The U9 Airdrie Sting Yellow went 2-0 and won the age category’s Ice division. Crawford said it shows the potential and the promise the club has for the rest of the season and beyond.
“The program’s building every year,” he said. “The first year, kids are coming out strong and we have some good coaching. Everyone’s buying into the systems and getting the kids to head in the right direction.”
The Ring of Fire tournament is an event that grows every year. This year, it featured 41 teams from as far away as Vernon, B.C., and Saskatoon, Indus, Strathmore, Calgary, Medicine Hat and a host of Northern teams from Drayton Valley, St. Albert and Spruce Grove.
Crawford is expecting that trend to continue.
“It’s become a real positive experience,” he said. “It helps the community, it was a successful event and fun was had by all.”