The Road Warriors, one of Smithers’ few women’s hockey teams, is gearing up for the new season starting this month and they’re looking for new recruits.
With the first practice this weekend, the team is looking at adding more players to their roster.
“Our numbers have dropped this year. We have 15 people registered so far, but our team likes to have about 20 registered,” said Sandra Mellace, who plays defence.
“We lost four women to pregnancy this year . . . but they always come back.”
The team has been around for almost two decades with a core group of roughly 10 women who have been playing together for years. They range in age from early 20s to 50s.
Mellace has been with the team for 17 years and prior to joining, she had no experience playing hockey.
“My girlfriend asked me to come out and I fell in love with it instantly,” said Mellace.
“We’re all really close friends. I really like that it’s something I can do after the kids are sleeping. It’s women’s hockey, it’s great exercise and our coaches are phenomenal.”
The Warriors have the opportunity to hit the ice once a week on Sundays, but they are hoping practice times could increase with the new arena opening.
While they occasionally play non-contact hockey against the other women’s team in town, the Prowlers, their main focus is preparing for tournaments.
They usually play an average of four tournaments a year, with some in Terrace, Prince Rupert and Smithers.
Mellace said the three volunteer coaches have helped improve her hockey skills immensely over the years.
“I’m always trying to improve my game and we get tons of feedback at practice. I really enjoy the game, it’s fun and it’s great exercise,” she said. “The more ice time you get, the better you’re going to get.”
The first practice is Sunday, Oct. 5 at 7:15 p.m. at the civic centre.
Registration forms can be found at Dan’s Source for Sports.
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