Sunday, 11 December 2016

The Rundown - Week 10

You might be asking why The Rundown is continuing despite there being no Canada West hcokey action until January. There's still lots of women's hockey action happening, and today was an outstanding day for Manitoba women's hockey and sports. There was lots happening in the province, lots of amazing Manitoba women doing their things outside of the province, and one woman who was bringing home all sorts of precious medals in the water. With everything happening across this great land involving Manitobans, it's time to pay a little respect to the amazing athletes coming out of this province.

Girls Learn From Local Heroes

I spent some time down at the MTS IcePlex today where over 400 young ladies registered to take part in the 13th Scotiabank Girls Hockeyfest! It also marks one of the first times that the Manitoba Bisons women's hockey team were asked to be involved, and involved they were! They helped out with the on-ice sessions, they were involved with the off-ice sessions, and the majority of them took part in a skills competition! Everyone that one looked, smiles were across the faces of the young ladies who were learning from the Bisons and it was great to see them being role models for these impressionable young hockey stars!

Among the Bisons at Girls HockeyFest were captain Caitlin Fyten, Erica Rieder, Alana Serhan, Amanda Schubert, Venla Hovi, Jayden Skoleski, Cassandra Taylor, Alexandra Anderson, and Nicole McGlenen! There may have been more, but those were the ladies that I saw doing drills and teaching the young ladies some important hockey skills. Cassie Campbell-Pascall was also on-hand to inspire and teach the young ladies, so it was a pretty awesome day all around! There are a few photos of the skills competition below along with a photo of Olympian Venla Hovi beside two Canadian Olympians in Campbell-Pascall and Fiona Smith-Bell! How cool is that for these young girls?
Well done to the kids who took part in this great event on a rather brisk Sunday morning! Kudos to the parents who braved the cold weather to bring their girls to meet their idols! And a big thanks to the Bisons, Hockey Manitoba, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, and Fiona Smith-Bell who paced the girls through some drills and some fun all day!

En Fuego

Another Manitoban was having herself quite a day on the ice out in Montreal! The CWHL's Canadiennes de Montreal were hosting the defending Clarkson Cup champion Calgary Inferno earlier today, and the first star of the game was a young lady by the name of Bailey Bram! Bram opened the scoring for Calgary and added a second period goal en route to leading the Inferno to a 5-3 victory over Montreal. Bram was also named the game's first star for her efforts in helping Calgary to victory!
With the victory, Calgary moves within one point of Les Canadiennes for first-overall in the CWHL with a 10-2-0 record on the season. Congratulations to Bailey Bram on her excellent day at the office in helping the Inferno erase the memories of the 1-0 loss the night before!

Flying High

While Manitobans dot the roster for the University of North Dakota women's hockey roster, one women made her first shot count this afternoon. The tenth-ranked Fighting Hawks were looking to complete the weekend sweep of St. Cloud State, and Winnipegger Ryleigh Houston got the Hawks off to a great start as she netted her fourth goal of seasnon just 32 seconds into the game en route to a 4-0 victory over the Huskies! Houston was also on the scoresheet on Saturday when she recorded an assist on Amy Menke's second-period goal, giving her a two-point weekend for the Hawks! Houston's having a great freshman year as she has four goals and nine assists in 20 games thus far!

Another Manitoban picked up a point this weekend as well as veteran rearguard Halli Krzyzaniak assisted on Amy MacMillan's opening goal on Saturday! Krzyzaniak is a long-time member of Team Canada, and the veteran defenceman keeps adding to her NCAA totals. In 153 NCAA games, Krzyzaniak has amassed 11 goals and 40 assists, but it's her abilities in the defensive zone that make her a valuable member of the Fighting Hawks squad. In her four seasons with UND, the Neepawa native has never picked up more than 22 minutes in penalties and has never posted a plus/minus lower than +11. She's a major part of the Hawks' defensive unit for good reason!

Add in goaltenders Annie Chipman and Kristen Campbell who will be UND's tandem next season, and Manitobans are making a major impact for North Dakota's women's squad in the NCAA! Well done, ladies!

Amazing Performance

Hockey Blog In Canada, admittedly, does not follow a lot of swimming events simply because I prefer the sports played on frozen water. That opinion may have been thawed a little, however, after seeing what Manitoba Bisons swimmer Kelsey Wog did yesterday in the pool.

Wog, pictured to the left holding her well-deserved silver medal, swam the hell out of the Women's 200m Breaststroke at the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships held in Windsor, Ontario. The Manitoba Bisons swimmer earned the silver medal by placing second in the race, a mere 1/100th of a second behind Great Britain's Molly Renshaw! That margin of difference is so tiny that I'm sure it's entirely accurate, but I'll take Omega's official word for it being that they have some experience with timekeeping. Wog showed everyone that Canadian female swimmers are going to be a force on the international scene for some time in the future with the likes of Wog, Penny Oleksiak, Taylor Ruck, Sandrine Mainville, and Michelle Williams in the mix!

Look at those times that Wog posted. She was behind by .09 seconds at the first turn, down .41 seconds at the 100m-mark, closed the gap on the third leg by .10, and then knocked a full .30 seconds off Renshaw's lead by the race's end. Wog and Renshaw caught and passed Great Britain's Chloe Tutton in the final 50m, showing how strong this young lady is. Wog swam the fastest second-100m section of the race, and she was rewarded with a silver medal for her efforts!

Don't look now, folks, but the kids from the prairies are making all sort of noise in the water and on top of it! Congratulations to all of these amazing Manitoba-born athletes for a hugely-successful Sunday on the sports scene!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice... unless you're Kelsey Wog!

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