By Tyler Lowey, Times Reporter
Former stars in the Strathmore Minor Ringette Association got the chance to perform for future stars of the program.
The SMRA held their annual Kickoff event Sept. 30 at the Strathmore Family Centre, as a way to welcome another season of competition.
Typically, the SMRA likes to hold an exhibition game, featuring a high level of ringette for the young girls in the program to witness.
This year, the University of Calgary Dinos hosted the University of Lethbridge (U of L) Pronghorns, as three former Strathmore Ice players took centre stage.
Following the pre-game skate and ice cleaning, Tassia Rushford of the Dinos was joined by Bobi Edelmann and Megan Lecavalier of the Pronghorns, to address the crowd and thank them for supporting the game.
Bobi’s sister Katie is a freshman at the U of L and a rookie on the team, but did not participate in the game.
The three young ladies are all products of the Ice program and enjoyed the special occasion of playing in front of their hometown.
“Strathmore Ringette meant everything to me; I met all my friends there and got more involved with the community through their program,” said Rushford, who is entering her second year with the Dinos and is in the education program.
“I played for the Ice for 12 years. I learned to stake in the program and got my first ringette stick in that program. They taught me everything I know and it’s special to come back here and play a game for this crowd,” said Bobi, who is in the kinesiology program.
Taking in the game were several teams across the Ice program. Kids with their parents donned Dino toques and waved Dino banners.
“We like having the parents and kids come out to see how exciting ringette can be,” said Derek Innes, SMRA president. “This is always a great way to kick off our season and get everyone excited for the new year.”
The noise level was through the roof and persistent from puck drop until the final buzzer.
The Pronghorns struck first and carried a 2-1 lead into halftime, following the 23-minute frame.
In the second and final period, a flurry of goals took place, as the lead changed hands three times.
The Dinos looked like they put the game on ice when Kendra Younger wired a shot from the left faceoff dot. The rebound bounced right to Claire Hinse, who speared the ring and shoveled it into the open net, putting them in front 5-4 with 4:34 remaining.
The Pronghorns had different ideas, as Calgary’s Kendra Horvath shoveled in a loose ring after a shot from Ashley-Raye Miles with 56.8 seconds remaining.
After skating out the final minute, the teams shook hands, as there was no overtime.
Bobi was the only one of the three Strathmore products to factor in the scoring, as she picked up an assist on the Pronghorns third goal.
“This was a great example of how the Strathmore program is feeding girls into the next level of ringette,” said Dinos second year Head Coach Ben Younger. “This was a great opportunity for us to showcase the sport at a high level and interest any local girls to maybe come out and play for our team one day.”
For the Ice, registration and evaluations have been completed, as the schedule is being finalized. Teams have started practising as they prepare for their season openers in the coming weeks.
As always, SMRA plans to hold their annual Laurie Morton Rupp Memorial tournament Jan. 27 to 29 and will host the U12B provincials later in spring.