It’s a homecoming weekend for four Lakeland area female hockey players this Sunday.
Charlotte Sandmeyer, Brooklyn Vachon, Kalie Cole and Tahlia Vasseur on the Lloydminster Richardson’s Jewelry U15AA Junior Steelers squad will be on home ice in Bonnyville as the Steelers host the St. Albert Chargers.
With a record of 4-3 on the season in the Alberta Female Hockey League, the girls are excited to be sticking home for a game this weekend.
“I’m super excited to play back in Bonnyville. It’s been like a year since I played here. And it’s gonna be a lot of people watching I hope from Bonnyville,” said Brooklyn Vachon, who has a goal and two assists this season.
“It’s fun. I really like the people on the team. It’s better hockey. And for me, I’ve always wanted to play the best hockey that I can play. And it’s like the best that we have for our age right now,” she said.
The tryout process is difficult as players from the Lakeland, Lloydminster, and midwest regions jockey for positions on the team.
“There’s about 50 girls who try it out and then they cut it down,” explained Charlotte Sandmeyer from Glendon, the lone defenceman not from Lloyd on the team.
“There’s lots of practices driving to Lloyd. And there was about 20 girls fighting for the defensive spot. And they kept five…I tried out last year and didn’t make it. So I was nervous, but I guess it all worked out,” she said.
After losing the first two games of the season, the Steelers picked up wins against the North Central Impact, Edmonton Pandas, and St. Albert Chargers. Despite losing a game last weekend against Olds, the team battled back on Sunday to beat the Impact in a 2-0 shutout.
“We’ve started to play as a team now since we’ve been practicing and improving and so we’ve been getting wins with that,” said Kalie Cole who is riding a two-game goal streak heading into this weekend.
Cole said it was nice to be back to a normal season again after last year.
“It was really difficult because you never got to play any games. Well, we had a few, but not like the regular season we usually have. But our team was lucky enough to still get practices, so we still got to improve with that season,” said Cole.
Tahlia Vasseur plays goaltender for the team. In three starts this season, she has a 2-1 record with wins against Edmonton and St. Albert.
Regardless of what happens this season, these girls are looking to advance to AAA hockey in the years to come and pursue an athletic scholarship while playing the sport they love.
Before being in Bonnyville on Sunday, the Steelers will play in Lloyd Saturday night against the Pandas at 6:30pm.
The Steelers sit third in the North Division, four points behind the Chargers for first place.
Puck drop on Sunday is 11:30am.