U18LL Silver Medal Weekend!
This past weekend was filled with hockey for the U18LL team.They participated in a year end tournament in St. Catharines and started strong Friday with two wins. Saturday afternoon they played their final league game in Kitchener. It was a tough game and they came out with the silver medal. Then it was back to St. Catharines for another win in the tournament. On Sunday they played an amazing semi-final with a score of 5-0. The final game was a tough one, against an equally strong team. An unfortunate goal in the 4 on 4 OT period led to another silver medal for the team.
At the start of this season, the U18LL team was without a goalie and facing the prospect of rotating players between the pipes. Eva joined the team without ever having been an ice hockey goalie and the team never looked back. She continued to improve and garnered 18 shutouts this season.
This team had an amazing season and although they will be ‘forever 2nd’ after winning four silver medals, they will take some wonderful memories with them. Their final tournament game was an emotional one as they said goodbye to six senior players and coaches Dave Armstrong, Dave Van Wyk and Mark Koebel whose daughters all played their final game as a Rocket. When trainer Michelle Dawtrey said ‘I don’t even have a kid on this team…’ Julia told her she actually had 15 kids on the team, many of whom are hoping she will be returning next season. As the manager this year, I’ve enjoyed hearing the dressing room chats and feel privileged to have been a part of this team
Third year players Chloe Armstrong, Emma Van Wyk, Eva Cobb, Georgia Thibodeau, Madelynn Ellis and Molly Koebel are all hanging up their Rocket jerseys for the last time.
Chloe has been playing with the Ayr Rockets for over ten years, starting when she was seven years old in 2013. Her favourite Rockets memory occurred in U15 when she was playing in a Nations Cup tournament in Detroit. In this tournament Canadian and American teams would face off against each other, competing to see who would be the winning country. The Ayr Rockets represented in the finals for team Canada, and although they ended up losing, nothing compared to the feeling of hearing the other Canadian teams cheering the Rockets on. Next year, Chloe will be continuing her education at Wilfrid Laurier University working towards a degree in Business administration.
Emma started playing for the Ayr Rockets when she was 8 years old. Next year she is attending Wilfrid Laurier to study Psychology and Human Behaviour, with hopes to travel and continue her hockey career. Some of Emma’s favourite Rocket memories include playing goalie as a player in a tournament and winning the championship in the Lower Lakes Female Hockey League.
This year was my first and last year playing with the Ayr Rockets. When I first moved to Ayr from Newfoundland I did not have many friends and was not a part of any activities. When I started school at Southwood, I met Reese St.Louis and she told me that her hockey team was in need of a goalie; even though I had never played as a goalie on the ice I contacted Dave as soon as I found out. Less than a week later I was on the ice playing my first game as a goalie. Although I was nervous to absolutely embarrass myself, which I did by face planting a good few times; I tried really hard to help out this team. During this season I have made friendships and memories that I hope to hold onto for the rest of my life. My favorite memory of this year was when we lost a championship game twice to the same team. It was humbling, and made us angry but in a good way. We all worked together and played as hard as we could, this loss made us a stronger team. In September I will move to Sarnia and go to Lambton College for Early Childhood Education, to eventually become an elementary school teacher. I hope to continue my goalie career, and maybe never stop. I learned that the net is the place for me, and I'm quite happy about it.
I started playing for the Ayr Rockets in 2017 at the age of 12. There were so many great memories of playing with the team over the years but my most memorable was in my first game with the Rockets, I scored 2 goals. Next year, I am headed back to high school to complete a co-op in healthcare, then I will be working full time to get ready for post- secondary.
I started playing hockey when I was 5 years old and have never lost my love for the sport and the team. The girls I play with make the early morning games and late night practices all worth it. I’ve grown with them, learned with them and made memories with them. One specifically that I will never forget about was last year at our Brock Badgers Tournament. One night the team and coaches went bumper carting. We were all laughing and racing and having fun. As my minor hockey journey comes to an end, moving forward I plan to take a gap year and work before deciding what’s next with my academic future. Thank you to my team, and coaches who led me to where I am today. I will miss you!
Molly has played with the Rockets for 7 years after figure skating and playing Ringette and has never looked back. Molly most enjoys the change room chatter and socializing with her teammates over the years and has enjoyed having her father on the bench…most of the time. She plans to head off to University in the fall pursuing her interest in the Health Sciences but will forever be a Rocket!
Once a Rocket, Forever a Rocket! Congratulations Ladies!!