Three teams from the Prince George Ringette Association will take aim at provincial medals this week in the Lower Mainland.
The Prince George Rush, the Andrew Kemp Lawyer and Mediator all-stars and the Hart Modular Homes/PPWC No. 9 all-stars will be in Surrey from Friday through Sunday for the B.C. ringette championships. All of the clubs will skate at the 'B' level and will have realistic shots at top-three finishes in their divisions.
The Rush, which will compete in the 18-and-over age group, recently battled to gold at the Edmonton Silver Ring tournament and, earlier in the season, secured silver at the West Coast Classic in Richmond.
"Their speed, ring control, passing and playmaking has improved considerably over the season," Rush coach Madeleine Crandell said of her players. "The only thing this team lacks is competitive game experience, as we've had no one to play against in the north."
Members of the Rush are Rory Bird, Stephanie Crandell, Justine Lamothe, Nicole Leblanc, Layne Ongman, Aimee Qualizza, Kristen Tooms, Nicole Crandell, Stephaney Thompson, Whitney Wilson, Caitlin Zacharias and goaltender Lisa Matzelle.
As for the Andrew Kemp all-stars, they are entered in the Under-16 category. The team is baby-faced -- stocked exclusively by 14-year-olds -- but has had success against all the teams it will face at provincials.
"It will just be who shows up and who gets the lucky bounces," said coach Stacey Brown. "It's very much a team sport and everybody has a key role to play. I rely on everybody to help us win games."
The Hart Modular Homes squad, under the guidance of head coach Keith Sullivan, will be on its blades in the Under-14 division. The team -- led by Darian Campbell, Keira Meroniuk, Sarah Irving and Austin Campbell -- is strong down the middle of the ice, a quality that should benefit it against B.C.'s best.
"The coaching staff is very hopeful that the team will come home with a medal this year, although it is a very young team, with four 11-year-olds and seven 12-year-olds," Sullivan said.