It’s amazing how far you can go when you stick it out.
It was only two years ago a group of girls hit the ice for the first Under-12 female hockey program under the umbrella of the Stephenville Minor Hockey Association.
Most of them were only nine years old then and they could barely skate. They struggled to hold a stick strong enough to shoot a puck.
That same group is now the best in the province in 2015.
The Stephenville Under-12 female team capped off a perfect season by winning gold in the A division at the provincial Under-12 female mega hockey tournament held in both Harbour Grace and Whitbourne.
It was the fourth tournament in which the girls claimed gold in this season, a whirlwind ride that will end with the majority of the players leaving the Under-12 age bracket for greener pastures.
Carmen Elliott, captan of the team and a lethal offensive force, scored four goals to lead the charge in a 9-0 win over Gander in the battle for gold.
“It felt great. I didn’t have a doubt that the girls weren’t going to do good,” Elliott said. “If we went down a goal they didn’t get down, they stood back up and just went out and played their hardest.
“I was really proud of the girls in the way they skated because they skated their best and played phenomenal.”
The win meant the girls had gone from dead last to first in just two years in the Under-12 age group in the province.
The team outscored the opposition 47-3 after opening preliminary seeding with a 11-1 win over the CeeBees en route to a perfect 6-0 record on the road trip.
Two years ago, the girls loved the game so much they stuck with it despite the challenges in the journey to learning how to play the game. That year, their first appearance at a mega tournament, saw the team compete simply for the love of the game. They ended up being seeded 16th out of 16 teams.
Last year, they moved up the ladder to be seeded 6th out of 19 after losing 1-0 to Deer Lake in the B division championship game.
They have been rewarded for their hard work and dedication.