Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Winners And Champions

This team to the left is the St. Mary's Academy Flames. They hosted the 2018 Female World Sport School Challenge this past weekend just as they always do each year. It's an outstanding tournament that features some of the best female prep hockey teams in North America along with many players that will play NCAA or U SPORTS hockey next season. I spoke a little about the tournament on Friday, but today will wrap up HBIC's coverage of the event as another outstanding tournament was capped off in dramatic fashion!

The Gentry Academy Galaxy met the St. Mary's Academy Flames in the tournament final, and this one had all the makings of a classic game. There were a couple of goals, some outstanding goaltending, and an overtime goal that gave one of these two teams the championship, but we'll get to the game in a second.

Let me start by saying that this tournament wouldn't be as great as it is without all the work and effort put forth by the seemingly tireless team of volunteers. They're the backbone of the annual success this tournament has, and I cannot say enough good things about them. The 2018 version of the Female World Sport School Challenge was just as enjoyable as the last few I've attended, and it speaks volumes to the efforts these people exhibit. Well done, volunteers!

I need to speak volumes about the job done by Nicole and Sophie, the two students from St. Mary's Academy, who voiced all the St. Mary's Academy and Female Would Sport School Challenge ads that we played on UMFM's Second Stream. If you want to talk professional radio people, Nicole and Sophie would qualify in that they did virtually all seven advertisements on the first reads! If either of these two ladies wanted to do radio in the future, UMFM would welcome them with open arms! Thank you, Nicole and Sophie, for making my job so easy in recording these ads!

If you caught the broadcast on Friday night, you may have heard two young ladies calling the action! UMFM was proud and honoured to have Lexi and Jenny (I hope I spelled your names right!) call the game as the St. Mary's Academy Flames battled the Minnesota Revolution! Lexi and Jenny did a phenomenal job as we listened to their call during the intermissions of the Saskatchewan Huskies-Manitoba Bisons game, and I believe they also may have a future in sports radio broadcasting! Well done, Lexi and Jenny, and keep that broadcasting door open as you both have the talent!

I need to thank all of the players who helped us out with a recording this weekend as well. Grace Heiting from Gentry Academy, Aron Johnston and Vanessa Nicholl from the Thunder Bay Queens, Sydney Cancilla and Kennedy Frank from the St. Mary's Academy Flames, Annika Scurfield from the Banff Hockey Academy Bears, Adrianna Brehm of the Minnesota Revolution, and head coach Bill Nicholl of the Thunder Bay Queens all dropped by the broadcast table and recorded a quick ad for the tournament. They all recorded their ads on the first read as well, so we were quite ecstatic about the players' abilities! And Coach Nicholl's abilities too! Thanks for giving us a little time for these ads!

I should also mention some of the people in the hospitality room who kept things lively and certainly made my job as a broadcaster way easier. Kerri Moore and Gina Borkofski were vital in making everything above happen while Lindsey Fennell and head coach Larry Bumstead were key in getting a lot of the unique broadcasting items off the ground. Gina and Kerri are a pleasure to work with, and they really run a professional tournament for everyone involved. Lindsey helped Lexi and Jenny prepare for their radio debuts, and Larry was a force in getting all the players to come over to record ads. All of the staff who were at the tournament did an incredible job, but these four individuals stood out in helping me be better as a broadcaster. Thank you, Gina, Kerri, Lindsey, and Larry!

While everyone listed above made this tournament a winner once again, there was some hardware to hand out to the team that rose above the other five. As stated above, Gentry Academy advanced to the final to meet St. Mary's Academy, and we'd see more of a defensive battle highlighted by exceptional goaltending after the two teams played to a 1-1 tie after twenty minutes after goals by the Flames' Sarah Dennehy and the Galaxy's Grace Heiting.

We had over forty minutes of stellar goaltending from St. Mary's Logan Angers and Gentry Academy's Alexa Berg, but with no additional goals scored in regulation time, we'd move to overtime. As we found out, the two teams would play a 20-minute overtime period of four-on-four hockey before moving to a shootout to decide a winner.

I'll be honest: no one wanted the shootout. Especially the Flames!
Danica Namaka ended the game with her overtime marker, and the St. Mary's Academy Flames were crowned the 2018 Female World Sport School Challenge Champions! Full credit to Namaka for taking the puck into a seam in the defensive zone after two Galaxy players seemingly were content to let Namaka walk out into some prime scoring real estate!

Your final standing at the tournament are as follows:
  1. St. Mary's Academy Flames
  2. Gentry Academy Galaxy
  3. Balmoral Hall Blazers
  4. Thunder Bay Queens
  5. Banff Hockey Academy Bears
  6. Minnesota Revolution
Congratulations to the St. Mary's Academy Flames on winning the 2018 Female World Sport School Challenge, and to all six teams on their impressive showings at this year's tournament!

While the Flames were the champions on the ice, the tournament had many winners when it came to making this year's event the best yet!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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