B.A.D. Girls Blazers – Novice C
There’s plenty good about the B.A.D. Girls Novice Blazers hockey team, and they’re getting better and better each time they take the ice.
“The girls are all doing a fantastic job, and they’re improving with every practice and game,” says the team’s first year head coach, Nick Vandendriessche.
Of the 12 players on the 2017-18 roster, only four were returnees from last year. In other words, the coaching staff met the majority of the Novice Blazers on the first day of practice. But there’s plenty of talent, and the girls are busy at work improving at all facets of the game, including skating, puck control, and shooting accuracy. And they’re doing so with a great attitude.
“No matter how we do, the girls all have smiles on their faces, and they all get along great together,” said Vandendriessche, who is in his first year as head coach after spending last season as an assistant.
Vandendriessche grew up playing hockey himself and has played sports his whole life. He’s been a big part of the B.A.D. Girls Novice Blazers, but he’s quick to credit others for their roles.
“I give thanks to my coaches and trainers, and also to my wife, who took on the responsibility of managing the team,” he said. “I’m very proud to coach this team.”
London Devilettes – Novice A
It started in late August, when the London Devilettes’ Novice A team held its tryouts and formed its roster of 15 skaters and one goalie. Since then, the girls have been hard at work improving their skills and coming together as a team while competing in the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association.
“The players are showing a real passion for the game,” said the team’s head coach, Steve Ryall. “They’re working hard at improving their on-ice skills and also making new friendships.”
The Novice Devilettes have six returning players from last season, while the rest are new to the squad this year. They’ve gelled quickly as a unit, though, and have been helped by a coaching staff that has been involved in the game since they were all the same age as the girls they’re currently coaching.
The Devilettes practice twice per week and usually play one home game and one away game per week as well. Their opponents include Peterborough, Whitby, Halton Hills, Toronto and Oakville.
Besides improving throughout the season and placing well in the standings, the team has another goal in mind.
“To try our best and have fun,” Ryall says.
Contributions by Nick Vandendriessche
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