BANFF – Gaining confidence is at the top of Banff Hockey Academy Bears’ (BHA) wish list this season.
The female prep team fell to 1-9 this season after a lopsided 10-1 loss against the Northern Alberta Xtreme in Banff on Saturday (Nov. 23).
With 10 games down and 14 to go in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League season, BHA assistant coach Petra Pravlikova wants to see all the good things in practice to start transferring over in games. However, the former Olympian said the team struggles with its confidence once the puck drops.
“We are trying to change that spirit,” Pravlikova said.
“The aim of this team is to develop everyone individually and I think it’s working. As a team, it would be great if there is a game we can actually win.”
BHA’s lone win came in October after the Delta female prep team was disqualified for using ineligible players.
Without a true win under its belt, Pravlikova said the BHA girls have taken forward steps since September and improve each game, but last Saturday was just “a bad game” all round.
The Bears were stuck in 4-0 hole after 20 minutes against the Xtreme, which is a mountain to overcome for the league’s lowest scoring team.
Midway through the second with the game at 5-0, BHA goalie Clare Simon was yanked from the crease. She made 18 saves on 23 shots, which included shutting down a breakaway shot from the Xtreme’s Matayah Metz. But the BHA goalie change didn't give the team a boost and it didn't slow down the Xtreme’s offensive production, which peppered backup goalie Kylie Mebs with five goals on 47 shots.
Xtreme player Abby Soyko scored four goals and had five points in the win.
Bears forward Kenzie Swiftwolfe broke BHA’s goose egg late in the third period to spoil Xtreme goalie Megan Decker’s shutout. Andee Sanderson picked up the helper.
“Typically we don't have a lot of goals against, so that kind of pushed us to keep going in the third period,” Swiftwolfe said.
Swiftwolfe said better communication and being in the right spots on ice during games is a must for the team moving forward.
The Bears head to Winnipeg next to take on the St. Mary Flames in a three-game stretch from Dec. 13-15.