VIDEO: Ice Dragons hockey team is developing nicely

Female Peewee Ice Dragons hockey coach Andy Oakes talks about the growth of his team.

It has been a good season for the Penticton peewee Peaches Lingerie Ice Dragons.

That is how Ice Dragon Gabrielle Gracia put it.

“We’ve been winning most of our games,” she said, with four wins, a loss and two ties putting them first in the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association Female Peewee Rec division.

What she has enjoyed so far are her teammates showing up to work hard in games and practice. Gracia plays defence and right wing and has potted a few goals this season.

“I’m pretty happy,” said Gracia, 12, of her play this season.

What does she love about hockey?

“The adrenaline I guess.”

Gracia is part of a group of players from Penticton, Summerland and the South Okanagan. Coach Andy Oakes said the group is mixed because there were not a lot of numbers in that age group.

“We to try to attract some girls who had been playing boys hockey,” said Oakes.

The roster of 15 was assembled after having players attend a spring tryout and summer camp.

“It’s been really positive for everybody involved,” said Oakes. “Girls hockey is a lot different than the boys. I learn something new about girls hockey every day. Their spirit and their passion to play is fantastic. It makes it a lot of fun.”

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Oakes said the players respond to his coaching and Gracia said he explains things well. Oakes said they try to execute the skills or the drills that he and his coaches ask them to do. He is also starting to add how the players should battle and compete. The coaches are also slowly adding tactical aspects. The Ice Dragons have spent hours working on skating, puck and passing drills as well as shooting.

“Their improvement is really quite phenomenal,” said Oakes. “Right from the start of the season. Their ability to listen and execute those things really shows.”

Oakes is a big believer in teaching the game and in a way his players can relate to.

This weekend Penticton Minor Hockey Association is hosting a Fire on Ice female tournament for the novice, atom, peewee, midget recreation and midget representative levels. Puck drop is Friday at 4:30 p.m. at the OHS.

Fire on Ice by Emanuel Sequeira on Scribd