Okanagan Hockey Academy welcomes JWHL
Okanagan Hockey Academy’s female midget team is hosting its first Junior Women’s Hockey League weekend.
Joining the OHA is the Pacific Steelers, Notre Dame, Warner School, Balmoral Hall and Edge School which make up the Major Junior North Division playing in the South Okanagan Events Centre this weekend.
“That’s pretty exciting for us to have all the teams come in here and play … kind of neat,” said OHA coach Rebecca Russell.
The OHA, in its second year in the JWHL, has had a strong start to its season winning its first four games by a combined score of 15-2.
In goal, Morgan Skinner and Reggin Eraut are both 2-0. Skinner has a .500 goals-against average with a .981 save percentage, having allowed one goal on 53 shots, while Eraut has a .86 goals-against average and .960 save percentage, allowing one goal on 25 shots.
Having only faced American teams, Russell said there is excitement facing the Canadian teams for the first time.
“It’s always really exciting the first time you play teams,” she said. “You have that aspect of not knowing what’s coming.”
She added that once teams have seen each other, they can study film which removes the initial mystery of teams.
She also said small rivalries are formed and feels the northern teams are solid, making for a good weekend of hockey.
“We’re looking forward just to see where we stack up against the rest of the JWHL squads,” she said.
Emily Clark and Nicole Goebel lead the team in scoring with six points each. Goebel leads the squad with three goals. The play of the forwards gives Russell confidence to roll four lines.
The play of the goalies has stood out to Russell, but she said you never know what to expect each weekend. What Skinner and Eraut have done is give OHA a chance to win.
Action for the OHA began Thursday evening with a tilt against the Steelers from Vancouver. The OHA then faces Notre Dame at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Warner School at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Balmoral Hall at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and finish up against Edge School at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.