MONDAY, APRIL 15: B.C. IS THE PLACE TO BE FOR GIRLS’ HOCKEY!
by Jodi Gentile (#3)
The opportunity to compete in the Esso Cup, Canada’s National Female Midget Championship, has been every team’s ultimate goal this season, and to have the honour of hosting it so close to home gives me an overwhelming sense of pride.
This is the first year that a Major Midget team from B.C. will host, or even compete, in the Esso Cup, which makes the entire experience even more extraordinary.
Hopefully, we will be the first British Columbian team to win the Esso Cup as well!
Although we are guaranteed a spot at this year’s Esso Cup, we won’t be holding back, as we continue to push to earn our spot at the tournament. We plan to battle our way through some great competition and face the best in Canada throughout April, making it the best time of the entire year.
Being the host team of the Esso Cup definitely has pushed us throughout this season, and has been a motivator throughout our highs and lows. Right from the first puck drop of the year, we had a target on our backs. After such a phenomenal year in 2012, when we won the league, became provincial champions, and were just a goal short of advancing to the national championship, the Phantom became “the team to beat.”
As a team, and program, we’ve grown and developed immensely, and at nationals the target we are aiming for ourselves will be bigger than ever. It adds a lot of extra pressure, nerves and butterflies, but I fully believe we will take this and use it to ignite our fire.
For me personally, it seems surreal to be competing in my second national tournament of the year, and the fact that both the National Women’s Under-18 Championship and the Esso Cup are both being held in B.C. this season is something I never imagined (The National Women’s Under-18 Championship took place in Dawson Creek last November).
Growing up, I played boys’ hockey, thinking that was my only real option to play the game I love with actual competition. But once I reached my early teens, my eyes were opened to the female game, and I enjoyed it more than ever. Girls’ hockey has changed and grown drastically since I began playing at age six, and I think hosting the Esso Cup here is going to show young girls in B.C. that there are high levels of female hockey, as well as many goals to reach for – and achieve.
I already know hosting the Esso Cup in Burnaby will be an amazing experience, and as the days count down, my excitement grows more and more. Bringing the best from Canada to our province is a great way to showcase the amount of skill there is in the female game, and I can’t wait to show Canada the talent of my team, the Fraser Valley Phantom.
About “Ghost” Writing: Leading up to and during the 2013 Esso Cup, Canada’s National Female Midget Championship, coming to Burnaby, B.C., this April, several players on the Fraser Valley Phantom of the BC Hockey Female Midget AAA League, will be contributing their thoughts to “Ghost Writing,” a blog about hosting the Esso Cup and everything else female hockey.