Cue the song from the rock band Queen, because players on the Diefenbaker Thunder Female Midget ‘A’ hockey team have the right to proudly proclaim, “Weeeee are the champions” after winning provincial gold this past Sunday night.
The Thunder was matched up against the Wood River SWT Ice Cats in the SFHL (Saskatchewan Female Hockey League) Provincial Finals. The series saw both teams compete in three games overall, which saw Wood River take the first win on Thursday, March 21 at a score of 2-1, and then Diefenbaker came right back the next night with a 1-0 win in overtime.
The final game was played on Sunday night, March 24 in Lafleche. The action proved to be fast and furious as both teams fought for the provincial championship, and by the end of the third period, things were at a standstill as the scoreboard showed a 3-3 tie; goals scored by the Thunder included #9 Madi Lockwood at the 13:43 mark in the first period, and #18 Kelli McGonigal in the third period at the 9:00 and 1:38 marks, with respective assists from Hayden Jones & Kendyl Stephenson, and Maria Lammers & Kendyl Stephenson.
Knowing what was on the line, both teams once again pulled out all the stops when the game kicked gears into an overtime period, and soon enough, the provincial champions were determined when #18 McGonigal sunk the gold-winning goal at the 9:42 mark, with assists from Alexa Ridgewell and Hayden Jones.
With that, the Diefenbaker Thunder were SFHL Midget ‘A’ provincial champions, the fans in the stands went wild, and the local hockey community is now jubilant over the fact that a team of local girls have come home with the league’s top title.
The Diefenbaker Thunder are coached by Kurt Jones, Darren Stephenson and Darren Jones, managed by Shannon Stephenson, and are comprised of Kendyl Stephenson, Kori McGonigal, Hailley Mann, Hailey Spence, Mackenzie Norrish, Bryn Deobald, Madi Lockwood, Maria Lammers, Hayden Jones, Mackenzie Jones, Jade Sibbald, Alexa Ridgewell, Jacklyn Frerichs, Kelly McGonigal, Nyah Hopkins, Jayden Lawson, and Scout Johnston.