After winning gold at the Niagara Falls Ringette Tournament, the Badgers looked to continue their success at the Provincial Championships in Waterloo this past week. Each of the eight competing teams played a six-game round robin to determine the top four teams that would compete in the medal games.
“Our mindset was just to go in and leave it all on the ice,” said Badgers captain Allison Sage. “We’ve worked towards this weekend all season, so we know what we have to do to be successful, and we just have to get out there and do it. Everyone knows their part and it works like a well-oiled machine. We have to play as a unit to get the results we want, and as long as we all trust and support each other that is exactly what’s going to happen. Most of all we all just want to have fun; as competitive as we are, none of it’s worth it if we’re not enjoying ourselves.”
The Badgers started off the weekend with a 3-1 win over Laurier, followed by a 3-2 win over Carleton before a 3-3 tie with Guelph. They would go on to beat Laurentian 5-1, McMaster 7-0 and Western 9-2 to secure the number one seed in the final four. The semifinal match against Carleton saw a 3-1 Badger win, which set up a final game against Guelph. The Badgers ultimately fell short, losing 5-3 to the Gryphons, and ended up taking home silver.
“I think that we just have a lot of talent on our team in all different forms,” said Sage. “We have really strong defence, strong playmakers and shooters in the offensive end, strong goaltending, and great coaching. All of these components do their own part in the game and it works really well when it’s all put together.”
It hasn’t been the cleanest season for the Badgers, but they’ve used their mistakes to grow
“Throughout the year there has most definitely been struggles and times when we weren’t getting the results we were wanting, but we learned from those struggles and adapted our game to improve moving forward,” said Sage. “Everyone contributes to the team in their own way; we play as a team and we have fun while we’re out on the ice, and that’s the big thing that I personally think has made us successful — we play our best when we are enjoying ourselves and not getting too stressed out. We know what we have to do to get the job done, and we just push our hardest and grind it out.”
For Sage, this weekend marked the final time she’d step on the ice as a Badger, and has seen the team evolve from a new program with not much experience to a successful team that was able to finish second in the province.
“I have experienced so much growth within the team throughout my four years at Brock. When I first started, our team obviously wanted to do well and be competitive, but we also knew that we were a newer program and were building towards becoming more competitive with other schools, while growing the sport of ringette within the universities in Ontario,” she said. “Since then, there has been continuous growth and we have gotten better and better each year, with this year definitely being the peak of my career as a Badger.”
Even with Sage graduating, the program is being left with talented young players to be able to continue the next success into next season.
“We have gained a lot of great rookies, and of course lost a lot of great vets, but that’s all part of the experience. The program has grown and become much more well-known in what seems like the four very short years that I have been here,” Sage said. “I am excited to see the team grow even more in the years to come; I will definitely be keeping in touch and following the team in the future. I can only see things continuing to go upwards from here. It’s been a lot of fun with this group, both on and off of the ice and I’m really going to miss it.”