The Bruiskies were 4-0 at the March 4-5 event in Elkhorn. They beat Grand Plains, 2-0, in the finals.
“I would have to say that the girls were all in this weekend,” head coach Ryan Lee said. “I could tell when I first walked into that dressing room that they were serious. I think this puts the Bruiskies’ run of gold medals to seven years, I believe, skipping over one COVID year.”
The Deloraine-based Southwest Stars team competing at provincials included Virden products Mya Plaisier and Jadyn Hayward. The squad won the bronze medals by defeating Manitou, 3-2. Tournament organizer Kaileigh Kyle said, “It was a great weekend with the rink full for both days to watch these young ladies compete.” She pointed to both semifinal contests going to double overtime as evidence of “how close the teams were matched.”
“It takes a lot of volunteers to run these events and once again Elkhorn did not disappoint,” Kyle said. “This is the third major tournament we have had this year. Our rink board is so grateful for the community support to help keep the rink running.”
The Bruiskies feature Elkhorn products Kassidy Johnson, Shaylee Frattinger, and Payton Kyle. The team also included the following personnel from Miniota: players - Monelle Bryant, Baylie Bryant, and Brooke Thompson; coaches Brad Thompson and Randy Bryant; and manager Caroline Thompson.
The Bruiskies are made up of 16 players from seven different communities. Lee said the Bruiskies made some changes in their game around Christmas.
“The girls really came together,” Lee said. “They are a really tight group of hard workers.”
At provincials, the Bruiskies shut out Souris, 4-0, and Grand Plains, 2-0, in pool play. In the semifinals, Birtle/Hamiota beat Southwest, 2-1, in double overtime while Grand Plains got by Manitou, 3-2, in another two OT contest. The Southwest goal was the lone marker the Bruiskies allowed on the weekend.
The squad opened its provincial schedule with a 3-3 tie versus Manitou. It then beat Rivers/Neepawa, 3-1. The team lost in double OT, 2-1, to the Bruiskies before winning bronze.
“All year we have talked about what each person needs to do in order for the team to be successful,” head coach David K. Kirkup said. “It was very noticeable to the coaches this weekend that the girls had belief not only in the team first vision but also in themselves and their teammates. They left it all on the ice, each and every shift.”
Kirkup said the teams were evenly matched and “it was anyone’s tournament.” He noted a double OT loss prevented the team from competing for gold, but said he was “Very proud of the girls for bouncing back and bringing home a medal as they are a great group with a bright future ahead of them all.”