Another season is right around the corner.
The Pembina Valley Hawks will open the 2018-2019 Manitoba Female AAA Midget Hockey League season against the Yellowhead Chiefs on Saturday, September 29th in Shoal Lake.
"We've got a pretty young team," said Shanley Peters who made the move from assistant coach to Hawks head coach this season. "We have eight new girls coming in and I love their work ethic. Each one of them come ready to practice and ready to play. All of them want to learn and are engaged so I love that about his incoming group."
Pembina Valley played four games in Saskatchewan at the Swift Current Wildcats Showcase last weekend.
The Hawks lost 2-1 to the Saskatchewan U16 team, 9-2 to the host Wildcats, 3-1 to the Melville Prairie Fire and 4-1 to the Weyburn Gold Wings.
"We didn't end up with the results that we hoped for but it was a really good learning experience for the girls," Peters said. "For the new girls coming in, I think it was a good experience to know what they'll be up against, what the pace is like, and what the strengths of the girls that they'll be playing against is going to be like. For us as coaches, it was a good way to start the year in terms of getting to know the girls and also getting to know what we need to work on, what kind of players we actually have for game situations, and start to draft a plan for that. Overall it was a good weekend. Scoreboard didn't show but I think it was a successful one as a team."
Peters is confident her team's offense will come around after being outscored 17-5 in Swift Current.
"We're constantly preaching to our girls to work on their shot. We only practice twice a week so there always has to be some sort of effort put forth outside of practice as well. For us, shot quality is huge and getting our girls to strengthen their shot. In practice we're focusing in on little drills that will help work on offense and that we're able to create those chances. We did lose a lot of veterans that brought a lot to the team but I think we have the girls this year that will be able to fill those roles and help us be successful this year."
The former Hawks goaltender, who played four years at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, replaces Dana Bell who is staying on with the team.
Bell joins Jody Scott as Pembina Valley assistant coaches.
"I'm excited to be able to take over," said Peters. "Definitely Dana has helped me through these last few years and grooming me to be able to have the potential and have the capability of taking the team over. He's been really helpful in that sense. I'm looking forward to being able to have him and Jody, who both have a lot of experience already in female hockey, working with me. For me, hopefully it can be a successful year and we can help our girls have a successful year as well."
Pembina Valley will play an exhibition game against the Pilot Mound Academy Buffaloes Sunday (3 p.m.) in Pilot Mound.
Next weekend the Hawks travel to Portage and face the Yellowhead Chiefs, Interlake Lightning, Westman Wildcats and Weyburn Gold Wings at the Central Plains Capitals Showcase.