Mustang girls’ hockey knocked out of playoffs, but strong foundation built for next season

M’CHIGEENG—Although the Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) Mustang girls’ hockey team improved greatly throughout the season, they were knocked out of the playoffs last week.

The girls finished in sixth place in the Sudbury District Secondary School Athletic Association Standings, losing 4-0 against Sacre-Coeur, their last game to determine who would move forward to the semi-finals.

“Again, I was really proud of the way the girls played,” said Coach Mike Meeker. “It was typical of the whole year; we played really well in this game and they never get down or give up. Even in the last minute, when the game had already been decided, the players were skating as hard as they did at the start of the game. All during the season we would get outscored by teams but often dominated games, as we did at times in this game.”

“Alana (Case) played really well in goal,” added Mr. Meeker. “Sacre-Coeur has the best player in the league on their team, she won the scoring championship this year. We did a good job of shutting this girl down in this game, even though she scored three goals and got an assist.”

“All their games have been really close this year,” Mr. Meeker told The Expositor. “The girls have improved so much. They have really been committed to giving it their all.”

“We had the youngest team in the league this year, by far,” he continued. “But everyone worked hard and stayed together as a team; this team was a coach’s dream. Everyone showed up for every practice all year and it is incredible how much this team improved. They were so much better by the end of the year.”

Mr. Meeker said that he has also learned from the ‘hockey moms’ that there are some strong Grade 8 girls who will be coming to MSS this fall and want to join the team.

“We had nine Grade 9 and three Grade 10 players this season who are returning and have a couple of new girls coming up that we know will help the team next year,” he concluded. “The girls are already looking forward to next year.”