Olympic eyes were watching over the weekend as the Southeast Midget AA Goldwings competed in the Hayley Wickenheiser tournament held in Calgary, an opportunity they likely won't soon forget.
They kicked it off with a 4-2 victory over the Surrey Falcons before a pair of losses, 4-2 to the St. Albert Sharks and 4-1 to the GHC Fire, then capped off the tournament with a 6-4 win over the Edmonton Pandas.
"It was a great experience for everybody. The hockey was probably a little bit higher level than we were used to, but our girls stepped up and played to that level which was awesome to see. The tournament, as a whole, was an experience for them throughout the weekend," said Head Coach Al Ohrt.
The team also competed ahead of time for a chance to win the 'Gatorade dressing room', via a video with a compelling story of the team. The tale of the Goldwing's former Estevan-Weyburn rivalry ceasing with the melding of the teams together took tops in the contest, resulting in a bunch of excited young girls from the Southeast taking over the tidiest dressing room in the arena. However, there was another surprise in store.
"Hayley (Wickenheiser) actually came in and gave a little talk to the girls, and then they got a picture in the dressing room with Hayley," related Ohrt, "It was kind of neat, how she talked about how the girls are in grade 10, 11, 12, and (telling them) don't just give up on hockey when you're done, make sure you look at different things to do to stay in hockey. It was pretty cool to have a one on one with Hayley with our team in the dressing room like that."
"I was just so proud of the girls, of the way they stepped up and played, and I'm hoping that they'll keep at level for the rest of the year. I think we'll do great things."