Lions and barracudas aren't usually friendly in the wild, but in the "wilds" of the WickFest Hockey Tournament in Surrey, BC, two girls' hockey teams, the Glenlawn Lions and the Béliveau Barracudas, came together in a show of great sportsmanship.
Our Lions flew into Vancouver on January 31st, wasting no time winning their first game against the Vancouver Angels. Much to their chagrin, the second game pitted them against a team not only from Winnipeg, but from LRSD—the Collège Beliveau Barracudas! It was a close game, ending in a 3-2 win for the Cudas.
Two days and two more wins later, the Lions had earned themselves spot in the final game of the tournament. Inspired by wins against teams from Washington and Kamloops, the team was ready to battle against…the Barracudas! However, back in the locker room, assistant coach Michelle Anderson was taping up goalie Ahna's shoulder only to discover that their goalie was in no condition to play. She couldn't move her arm. Without a back-up goalie, would the Lions have to forfeit? Enter Grade 12 student, Emily Leonard, assistant team captain and forward, who had always wanted to play in goal. With an injured goalie and the top-scorer in net, the outcome of the game seemed a forgone conclusion and, suddenly, the final score wasn't important anymore. Friendly banter between the teams and a fun sporting vibe filled the arena. Every time Emily made a save, the bench roared in approval! Although the game ended in a 5-0 loss for the Lions, the girls felt it was an amazing experience and the best tournament of their lives.
One of the tournament officials commented, "hands down, the nicest players and coaching staff were from Glenlawn and Beliveau. Kudos to all the girls and coaches. Great sportsmanship, camaraderie and the most respectful players and coaches I've seen in a long time. It was a pleasure to officiate them and all three officials agreed later in our Referee Room that they epitomize what true sportsmanship is all about. I can't speak highly enough about them all!"
Congratulations to the players and coaches of both teams for exemplifying what the sport is all about. WE ARE WINNIPEG! #wearebettertogether