The team dispatched Red Deer Chiefs this past weekend with dominating shutouts of 4-0 and 3-0 to win the championship of the Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League.
The Chiefs were undefeated in regular season play, but no team had been playing at the level the Oil had been in the last quarter of the season.
“They hadn’t seen us since December and I thought that was an advantage for us with them not knowing what to expect,” said Ryan Rombough, head coach of the Taber Oil midget girls hockey team.
Riding a hot goalie in Lennae Wong, her stellar play continued in the championship round, giving the Oil plenty of confidence to take chances in the offensive zone knowing they had a rock between the pipes.
“She has been playing unbelievable. She is as calm as a cucumber stoping all the pucks. The girls are feeding off of that, being calmer out there,” said Rombough. “With Red Deer, they basically had the one line, so we had our shutdown line of Keegan (Brantner), Kendall (Enns) and Hannah (Horvath) playing against teams’ top lines and they’ve been shutting the door. That was the key against Strathmore and Red Deer and with the depth of our second and third line scoring goals, we’ve been getting scoring from all over.”
The team continues to play some of its best hockey of the season, and with earlier scoring droughts now remedied along with solid goaltending in the crease with Wong, the team looks to make some noise at provincials in Lloydminster later this week.
“It’s the goal scoring where we’ve been going to the net hard and having that traffic which has been key for our improvement. We were only scoring two goals a game earlier, now we are getting to four goals a game. We are still sticking to that defence-first mentality and letting the game flow from there,” said Rombough. “The offence is coming because we are going to the ugly areas and the net. We are riding some hot goaltending, where she has confidence owning that puck, it’s going to be key at provincials along with our experience.”
There are nine players on the Oil roster with three years provincials experience in Brooke Capner, Miranda Lohues, Hannah Graham, Kendall Enns, Lennae Wong, Keegan Brantner, Tori Rombough, Genna Wright and Tatum Nagai.
“We are going to go in there as an experienced provincial team with a lot of the girls knowing what to expect,” said Rombough.