The team continues to have plenty of forward momentum heading into the provincial dance, having just concluded its second round of Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League playoffs against Strathmore, advancing to the championship final after 5-3 and 3-1 wins over Strathmore Storm. Lennae Wong was solid in net, preserving the wins with the Oil being outshot handily both games.
Keegan Brantner had two goals with Kendall Enns, Brooke Capner and Jayden Goodstriker notching singles in the 5-3 win. Miranda Lohues and Hannah Horvath both had two helpers apiece.
“Lennae stood on her head for us, especially our Sunday game,” said Ryan Rombough, head coach of the Taber midget Oil girls hockey team, highlighting a 39-save performance in the clinching game. In the 3-1 win, Enns, Brantner and Goodstriker scored.
“We don’t have much of a book right now but some aren’t in their zone yet, teams are all new this year,” said Rombough. “With girls hockey, goaltending seems to be a struggling point with most teams and most teams have pretty good goaltending going into provincials. It doesn’t matter if it’s boys or girls hockey, if you can ride a hot goalie, that helps. It’ll come down to the girls doing what we’ve told them all year and sticking to the game plan and hoping we have the right system in place.”
Wong has certainly fit the bill of strong goaltending for the Oil as the team will now rely heavily on her with the team’s other goalie Baylee Cavers lost out of commission.
The Oil will feature veteran players who have been to girls hockey provincials before with Tori Rombough, Tatum Nagai, and Keegan Brantner making 2014 their fourth trip to provincials.
“They know what to expect and with that experience I think they’ll be a little hungry this year. and they’ll give us that leadership we need,” said Rombough.
It is the tired and true cliché of a team peaking at the right time and the Oil certainly have the look of a team doing just that, finding a scoring touch that was lacking at the start of the season to help Wong out.
“That’s what we’ve been working on is going to the net and figuring out how to score a few more goals. We were having two goals for, and I think we’ve bumped it up to four or five now. We’ve found a way to score goals, knowing we have to go to the net and earn them.”