Synergy finishes fourth
Host team at Ringette Alberta U16 junior A championship
By: By Nicole Starker
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 06:00 am
The St. Albert Synergy went deep at the Ringette Alberta U16 championship, but missed walking away with a medal by the slimmest of margins.
The local ladies achieved their aim of reaching the semifinals, and then put up a good fight against the Calgary North Prime but eventually lost the bronze medal by a 9-8 score.
“We were down 4-0 and then 6-2 and we clawed back to 6-6, but it just wasn’t meant to be,” says head coach Frank Tosto.
The Synergy defeated the St. Albert Enyo to earn the host team spot at the eight-team provincials last weekend at Servus Credit Union Place.
Heading into provincials, the coaching staff was working with the team on tightening its defence and Tosto said it was fantastic, especially in the two round-robin victories.
“We had some of our best defensive games of the year this past weekend,” he noted. “Defence is so important. Defence sometimes starts with the forwards. If they are keeping control and possession, it makes it a lot easier for our goaltender and defence to play their position, so our team defence did certainly improve.”
In their first game the Synergy beat Red Deer Intensity in an exciting 4-3 contest.
In the second match they fell 11-5 to the Medicine Hat Insidious 11-5, the 2012 champions.
“Sometimes you get a little distracted by who you’re actually playing (and) forget about the job you have to do on the ice,” Tosto said.
Medicine Hat took provincial gold again this year with an 8-4 victory over the Beaumont Bam in the final.
Beaumont advanced to the final with an 8-4 win over the Synergy in the semifinals.
The Synergy started the tournament with Delaney Pater and Tianna Krieger on the injured list and then in the final round-robin game centre Loren Guntrapov suffered an injury.
Tosto said Guntrapov was a tough loss to have for the rest of the tournament, but he was proud of the way the team went on to win its next game.
“It was kind of inspiring to see the girls rally around that injury. They basically pulled out the win that enabled us to make it in to the semifinals,” he said of the 4-2 decision against Calgary Bowview Cito.
With the team shorthanded after Guntrapov’s injury, the coaching staff called in reinforcements.
“In the last game we were low on players and we had to bring in an affiliate (Sloan Yaceyko), somebody who hadn’t played for two weeks, to come out and try and get in the lineup to help us out,” Tosto says.
The head coach says that one of the highlights of the championship was the amount of spectators in the stands for all of the games and the support the Synergy had from local fans.
Ultimately, the experience of competing in provincials was the greatest highlight.
“This is what everyone plays for all year and it’s an opportunity for them to play against some of the best teams in the province,” Tosto says. “The experience of being there … is a reward in itself.”
Tosto says while different players stood out during different times on the weekend, it was a true team effort that got the Synergy into the semifinals.
And even though he thought they would medal, it wasn’t the bronze-medal loss that brought the players down but the end of the season.
“A few of the players said they weren’t sad that they didn’t win the bronze, they were just sad that they didn’t get to be together anymore.”