Skip to content

U13 girls team keeps winning, sweeps Manitoba tournament

Four straight wins at the Portage Cup tournament gave the U13 Parkland Prairie Ice players their second straight tournament championship.

CANORA - The U13 Parkland Prairie Ice, a new girls’ hockey team made up of players from Canora, Preeceville, Sturgis, Kamsack, Norquay, Keeseekoose First Nation and Yorkton, has so far entered two tournaments and won them both.

On Jan. 13-15, the Ice made the trip to Portage la Prairie, Man. for the team’s second tournament of the season, and won four straight games against Manitoba opposition to win the championship in the Portage Cup tournament, according to information provided by Team Manger Jaime Johnson.

Head Coach Nicole Korpusik said she continues to be impressed by how well the players work together as a team in their short time together. The Portage Cup has been an annual event for a number of years, but this was the first time the event included an all-female division.

“Our first game was on Friday evening against the Southwest Stars,” said Korpusik. “We knew they were highly ranked and were prepared for an exciting matchup. Our girls came out strong and showed an incredible amount of teamwork. They were finding each other with passes in front of the net and on the point. The scoring started to flow with a great mix of numbers on the score sheet and our defense were able to keep the shots to a minimum. What did make it to the net our goalie, Ty Northrop, wasn't having it. She stopped everything the Stars threw at her and earned her first shutout of the tournament. We came away with a 6-0 win and were excited to see what the next day would bring.”

Saturday brought an early start with a 9:30 a.m. faceoff against the Oakville Wolverines.

“The girls continued to wow us with their team play,” said Korpusik. “Their passes and positioning were on point. The lines were really starting to gel, which resulted in seeing some new plays and risks being taken on the ice. Granted, the passes didn't always work out, but I loved seeing them take it upon themselves to read the other team and adapt. By the end of the game, confidence was building throughout the whole bench and the puck was finding the mesh. Ty hadn't lost her touch in goal, she stopped every shot and controlled her rebounds like a champ, resulting in another 6-0 victory.”

The second game Saturday game for the Ice was a semifinal playoff tilt. After finishing first in their pool, they met up with the Winnipeg Storm, the second-place team in the other pool.

“This game was a continuation of the other two,” reported Korpusik. “Ty got her third straight shutout and we came away with a 5-0 win. The girls were all playing with confidence and control in every area of the ice. We broke out of our end, regrouped in the neutral zone and moved the puck throughout the offensive zone. It was great to see. These girls were reaping the benefits of their earlier risks and sacrifices. They were able to see that sometimes if we take a few steps back and sacrifice personal gain to help include and improve teammates, it will result in giant leaps forward and long-term team success.”

The championship final game took place Sunday evening and was a rematch of the opening game of the tournament against the Southwest Stars.  

“We knew they would be ready for us and it would be a very different game than the first,” said Korpusik. “The scoring was not one sided this time around. The Stars finally got on the scoreboard and it was time to test the resilience of our players. It's easy to play well when you're up two or three goals, but when the score is within one, the tension got a little high. We were up 4-3 to end the second period.

“The break between the second and third was used to remind the girls of how we got to where we were and that we play better when we are having fun, so that's what they did. The smiles returned and we started the period with a couple quick goals. They were back and we finished the game and the tournament with a 7-3 win!”

Korpusik said the improvement in the play of the players since December “is amazing.”

“I credit that to how well they work as a team. The leaders lead by building confidence and competence through giving every player the opportunity to contribute. Each player believes in the next, they don't demand perfection, they demand effort and support. I could not be more proud to be a part of this team.”

Team staff members are working on organizing and hosting a one-day tournament in late March.

“If the schedules of other teams will allow for it, we would love to give our families, friends and communities an opportunity to see these girls in action,” concluded Korpusik.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks