Brittany Pike hoping host Stephenville team has what it takes to win title

Dave Kearsey
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Brittany Pike and her Stephenville teammates are hosting the under-20 female D hockey championship.

Female hockey players will be gunning for provincial hockey crowns in various pockets of the province this weekend.

Stephenville will put out the welcome mat for the 2014 Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador Steele Hotels Under-20 Female D Championship at the Stephenville Dome beginning today.

The host Stephenville squad will compete for gold against Deer Lake, Botwood, Fogo, Green Bay South and Twillingate in a single round-robin affair over three days with a champion being declared Sunday.

Brittany Pike of the host Stephenville team has been around female hockey ever since it started up in the airport town and would like nother better than to win her first provincial championship in her last year with the team as she gets ready to pursue post-secondary studies in the fall of this year.

“I’m so excited that it’s at home because it’s my last year so I get to spend it with all my friends and my family, and they get to come and watch too so it’s really special to be at home,” Pike, daughter of Keith and Karen Pike said Wednesday afternoon.

Pike hopes all the years of playing together as a group and working hard in practice will lead to a championship. It would be a defining moment for her if she could win a tournament at home in front of family and friends.

“That would be great I mean we haven’t won that much in past years,” she said. “Just to be able to play at home is amazing, but to win it at home would be something to remember.”

The 17-year-old who is a defender by nature, but can make a smooth transition to forward if the coaching staff desires. She insists that keeping the puck out of harm’s way in her own end of the rink is where she will be focusing her energy every shift.

“I’m defence so I got to protect my goalie and if it gets past me then it’s all up to her so I have to make sure I help her out,” she said.

She believes the team has a lot of chemistry that should bode well for them against some of the top teams standing in her way.

She also knows she will be expected to play a leadership role as one of the seasoned players in the mix.

“As a senior I guess I have a pretty big role to try and keep the girls going and stuff,” she said. “We’re all pretty well like one big family so we all motivate each other really well. We’re a pretty close group.”

It’s a championship crown she’s anxious to see unfold. She likes her team’s chances of competing for gold.

“I just think we need to play our hardest. We don’t hustle a lot in practice, but when it comes to a game we can really step it up. We just got to keep going and not give up on the puck.”

She will have a lot of family glued to their seats at the Stephenville Dome so she’s anxious for the puck to drop.

“I’m there for my team,” she said.

Meanwhile, St. Anthony is playing host to the provincial Under-20 C tournament with Corner Brook, Gander, Gros Morne and the Straits in the mix for the championship banner, while Springdale is hosting the provincial Under-20 female B tournament that also features Lake Melville Minor Hockey Association.

Meanwhile, La Scie will play host to five teams, including Port aux Basques, co-host Springdale and Baie Verte, at the provincial Under-15 female D tournament this weekend.

Stephenville and the Straits will compete for top honours at the provincial Under-15 female tourney being hosted by the Cee Bees, while Deer Lake will be among the five teams competing for the provincial Under-14 crown in Marystown.

Organizations: Stephenville Dome, Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador Steele Hotels Under

Geographic location: Deer Lake, Green Bay South, Twillingate St. Anthony Corner Brook Lake Melville Minor Hockey Association.Meanwhile La Scie Port aux Basques Baie Verte Marystown

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