The Elmira Sugar Kings may have suffered a first-round exit from the playoffs, but Woolwich’s minor hockey teams have been providing hockey fans with some big wins this season.
Teams from the Woolwich Minor Hockey Association and Woolwich Girls Minor Hockey Association have had exceptionally successful seasons, say officials from both organizations.
The Woolwich Wildcats bagged five wins at the Tri-county championships. Capturing titles this year were the Atom and PeeWee AE teams, as well as Minor PeeWee AA, Bantam AE and Minor Midget A teams.
“We had five this year, which is not as typical – we usually get one or two, maybe three a year. Five is maybe a little higher than normal, which is great. I’m just glad to be a part of it,” said WMHA president Steve Hanley.
The past season saw a smooth run from start to finish, he noted, with the help of an improved team of coaches and a thriving development program, introduced two years before.
“We’ve moved a few teams in the last couple of years to AA and they’ve all fared well. It’s a higher category. The Minor PeeWee AA team won the AA Tri-county. It’s good that we’ve got a bunch of our younger players that have moved up to AA,” he said.
While the boys ended their season April 1 with big applause from coaches and executives, the girls are not done yet, as three Woolwich Wild teams continue in the OWHA provincial championships in Ottawa that started April 4 and end tomorrow (April 7).
President Tammy Willms said having three Rep teams make it to provincials “is exceptional,” though the Wild are used to sending at least one team to that level each year.
“We’ve had girls in the system now for quite a while, so they’ve only developed more and more every year. I think that’s why we see the increase,” she said.
Willms will be joining Novice C, Atom B, and the Bantam BB team in Ottawa this weekend.
Looking back on a positive season full of accomplishment, she said much of that is thanks to a team of volunteers and parents.
“Things are better now that we have new ice pads in town. It’s been easier over the last three years with regards to having enough ice time.”
While the Rep teams hit the ice in the capital, there are accomplishments to be proud of at home as well. Four out of the eight local league teams made it to the local championship weekend and the Atom B Rep team took home a silver.