The U13 AA Western Prairie Thunder had a season for the ages in 2022-23, going an impressive 25-1 in league play and winning countless tournaments and a provincial title to boot.
West Central Online talked to Assistant Coach Amber Rennie about the season.
“Overall, we had a successful season all year long. We started off in a tournament in Saskatoon, ended up winning that tournament and then a couple more tournaments, winning them all. We lost one game all year for our league and then in the playoffs we won all six games going into the final and then swept the final as well.”
Rennie then discussed the exciting final series against the Saskatoon Comet Hurricanes. A team they seemed to be on a collision course with, as they had a 24-2 record in league play, handing the Thunder their only loss of the season in November.
“The first game in Kindersley was 1-1 with maybe 7 minutes left and every time there's a shot on that or a good opportunity for us. You can see the whole crowd kind of throwing their hands up and there's a good atmosphere.”
The Thunder won that game by a score of 3-1 thanks to goals from Jalaa Moore Jagow, Hayden Hilbig and Iralyn Calkins.
Game two in Saskatoon was an even more exciting game according to Rennie.
“We ended up going down 3-1 going into the third period, but like the team always does, they found a way to come out in the third and they just never gave up. We scored two quick goals in the 3rd to tie it up at three. Then we got fourth and fifth. They got one and then actually when we got our last goal there were 2.6 seconds left, and then Saskatoon scored, so that left us up one goal still. So, with two seconds left wasn't quite enough time for Saskatoon, but a cool and exciting finish. That's for sure.”
The Thunder got a hat trick from Hayden Hilbig, and goals from Jagow, Calkins and Charleigh Johnston to lead them to a 6-5 victory and a two game sweep of the Comet Hurricanes.
The U13 AA Western Prairie Thunder went an impressive 31-1 in league play including the playoffs. They also won some tournaments as Rennie noted earlier, which makes them an impressive 47-2 overall. The Thunder powerhouse will look to continue next season, with a good chunk of girls heading to U15 next season.