By Taylor Lambert
Stingers win! Stingers win! In our season opener this past Sunday the team defeated the Barrie Blueberries 3-1, with a hatrick from Cassandra Nasso.
After only a few practices, and three days off the team came together quickly after the opening shift, where Nasso picked the top corner putting us ahead 1-0. Quick puck movement and heads up play led to a dominating first game.
With no definite systems in place yet, the team adapted well to each other’s styles of play. The team is excited to move forward as we continue to work on shift lengths and communicating on the ice. The year is shaping up to be a competitive one and the Stingers are more than ready to compete. I am excited to see how the team develops, and I am more than ready to get back on the ice.
After my first competitive performance in nearly eight months, I left the ice feeling satisfied. I hadn’t played to the best of my abilities and was timid at times, but I was relieved that I would be able to continue playing the game I love.
I was thankful to have Nasso on my line. She dominated the play when she had the puck, and it helped to build my own confidence that I too could be a force in this league. My worries of being too young quickly dissolved. The positive leadership of Leslie Bradshaw has created a welcoming team atmosphere, and I feel as if I am finally where I need to be.
Sunday was a milestone for me, and in my return to the ice I was happy to be able to share it with my family. After a recent divorce left my parents in separate provinces, my dad hadn’t been able to see me on the ice in nearly a year. I felt like a little kid again waving to my parents in the stands.
After a week of ups and downs with relationships and school, hockey was a much needed escape on Sunday afternoon. I finally felt totally in control again and able to make decisive decisions. After two successful passes led to two assists and a plus-three rating, all of a sudden the week’s conflicts disappeared.
The year has started in a winning fashion and we hope it becomes a trend this season. As we begin to set a definitive practice schedule and team systems in place, we feel like we’re on the right track.