A historic hockey win for the province had a definite Okanagan-Shuswap connection.
Team B.C. defeated Nova Scotia 3-0 in the gold-medal game in women’s hockey at the Canada Winter Games in Charlottetown Sunday, March 5.
It’s the first-ever gold medal in the sport for B.C., coached by Kris Hogg of Sicamous. Hogg is head coach of the women’s U18 Prep team at Kelowna-based Rink Hockey Academy, and seven of his players were on Team B.C.
Four of the seven figured in the scoring in the championship. Chloe Primerano of Vancouver set up the first two goals three minutes apart midway through the second period by Mikayla Blomquist of Lake Country and Maddie Leaney of Maple Ridge.
Vernon’s Maya Serdachny assisted on a third-period goal at 11:42 scored by Danica Maynard of Osoyoos. Jordan Baxter of Coquitlam also had a helper on the goal.
Gracie Graham of Kelowna, Jaimee Spring of Cranbrook and Hailey Armstrong from Dawson Creek are also part of Team B.C. from the Rink Academy squad.
“It feels amazing,” said Graham. “I got to win this gold medal with all my best friends so it’s a great opportunity and a great experience. I’m just thinking about all my family and coaches who have helped me make it this far and have this great opportunity.”
Rebecca Noble of Delta was in goal for B.C. and made 11 saves to record the shutout.
“Incredible, this feeling is just amazing,” said Noble with the gold medal around her neck. “This is such a good group of girls and to finish the tournament like this is unforgettable.”
Leaney led the tournament in scoring with 12 points, two ahead of teammate Primerano.
B.C. went undefeated in PEI.
The province won 103 medals at the Games – 46 gold, 26 silver, 31 bronze.