MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin Mustang girls’ hockey team is currently ranked fifth in the Sudbury District Secondary Schools’ Athletic Association (SDSSAA) girls’ hockey B division. The team will face off against Confederation and Sacre-Coeur this week, fighting for a place in next week’s division playoffs.
“The team is getting geared up for our last week of games before the playoffs,” Coach Mike Meeker told The Expositor on Monday. “We have to finish in the top six of our division in order to make it to playoffs, but we are fifth right now so things look good. This is what we have been working towards all year.”
“The thing about this team is that they are really gutsy,” continued Mr. Meeker. “All the girls are grinders in the positive sense. There are no super stars. The whole team plays hard, plays their best. Other teams in the league have two or three exceptional players, but our whole team plays hard.”
Mr. Meeker said this year was all about “rebuilding” for the Mustang girls.
“Our team is made up mostly of Grade 9 girls, the youngest team in the league,” said Mr. Meeker. “It has been a great year for me as a coach. They all have great commitment and have improved enormously. I know that going forward, they are going to be a real force because they are just going to keep getting better and better and growing as a team. It has been a pretty fun year and I’m really happy about how much the girls have stuck together as a team.”
“We are really working on scoring goals right now,” he added. “We out shot, out played a lot of the teams this year, but often we can’t score. We are also working on our defensive play in our end. This is an area a lot of teams are always working on, but the girls have been really coming along on this.”
On Tuesday, February 3, the Mustangs were to face off against Confederation, the number one ranked team in the B division as of Monday, at the Ray Plourde Arena. Come out and cheer on the Mustangs at their last home game this Thursday, February 5 against Sacre-Coeur (third in the division) at the M’Chigeeng Arena at 5 pm.
“I think the girls are heading into these games on a high,” said Mr. Meeker. “They are getting better and they know it. It doesn’t matter who we play this week, the girls know it’s about focussing on their own game and giving it their all.”
Whatever happens this week, Mr. Meeker said this has been a phenomenal season for the Mustang girls’ hockey team and one of the best years for him as a coach.