The U13 Female A Knights Head Coach Jeremy Lorenz says he couldn’t be more proud of his hockey team’s hard work and resiliency on their way to a provincial gold medal.
“It was awesome and pretty surreal, it took a while for it to set in what our team had accomplished. A lot of hard work and the girls were just unreal throughout the tournament. It was a lot of fun,” he says.
This marks Lorenz’s third year as head coach of the female program and fourth year as a head coach in Grande Prairie Minor Hockey.
“Around May of last year, my staff and I started putting together drills and the team held about 60 practices throughout the season and about 40 games in the season itself,” he says.
Lorenz says what impressed him the most about his team was the resilience of the girls
“We played in a really hard tier during the season. We went 1-15 during the regular season and what I noticed was that the girls were super positive the whole time. That’s a credit to them for never giving up,” he says.
Although he is proud of his whole team, Lorenz notes that there were a couple of standouts during the run to the championship.
“Taylor Wasylchew was a first-year and she had a great tournament, with multiple games where she took her play to the next level. Charlie Evarts made some big saves for us in net and locked things down when we needed it,” he says.
The provincial championship means a lot to Lorenz, but he says he’s also encouraged by the growth of girls’ hockey in Grande Prairie.
“We’ve watched our girls come up through the system. The numbers were quite small at the higher levels when we first started and now we’re starting to see that change. Instead of just one team, maybe there are two teams. Atom will have three teams and we would love to get to a point where we have three or four teams in every division,” he says.
Lorenz adds that he’s been coaching hockey for about ten years and calls his experience with the U13 Female A Knights the best one he’s had behind the bench. The Knights claimed gold in Picture Butte after going 3-0-1 in round-robin play, followed by a 4-3 semifinal victory over Airdrie, and then shutout Red Deer 4-0 in the championship game.