Saugeen Maitland Hockey - A Mother's Perspective..., News (Saugeen Maitland Lightning)

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Saugeen Maitland Hockey - A Mother's Perspective...
Submitted By Sue Davey on Saturday, April 19, 2014
**Written by Wendy Lawrence**

This is a mother’s perspective of the last 6 years spent with "our Saugeen Maitland hockey family"

I remember when Ashlee was 10 and bringing her to the first Saugeen Maitland tryout. "I'm not playing there I'm staying with my friends." We responded saying just go for one tryout if you don't like it just thank the coach and we will go back to Shallow Lake boys rep. (we loved Shallow Lake but after a broken clavicle in a clean hit we knew she was too small to stay with the boys).

All the way home from practice she said "I am SO making that team!!! Those girls were good!"

Well first year Peewee was Tuesday night conditioning and Thursday night systems practices with Rob and Tom coaching. Wow did they skate hard on Tuesdays!!! At the beginning of season the girls were exhausted but every week their endurance, strength and speed improved incredibly!! Ashlee loves lightning drills!!!

Second year Peewee with coach Aron, assistants Budge and Steve. It was incredible!! The girls won several championships including lower lakes league champs, 6 gold medals including provincials, silver stick and more!! They were the team to beat!!

First year Bantam was another year of learning and growing but not without a tournament win in Hamilton. Year two in bantam reversed roles for Aron and Budge putting Budge as head coach. Girls had a great season with a few more medals to add to the count.

And then came Joe! The Midget AA coach... When I thought Ashlee couldn't get any faster or be stronger and smarter on the ice she did!! Joe helped Ashlee to play BIG!!! To control the play... Be fast when she should be and patient when needed. To create chances.... And she did!!! First year midget made history with a bronze medal in provincials (first Midget medal in Saugeen's provincial history) beating Whitby in 4 periods of overtime Ashlee got only goal of the game to take the team the bronze medal game!! As well the team won lower lake league champs and a couple tournament medals.

Second year we got a couple great wins lower lakes league champs again, several silver medals and a couple gold including Silverstick. Joe is a man that doesn't show a lot of emotion but after winning bronze in provincials and then saying good bye to the graduating girls both years brought a couple tears to his eye.

Joe makes sure each and every girl plays hard and plays for the love of the game. When he plans tournament he makes sure the girls are seen by the top scouts for universities and that each player is a huge part of the team’s success!! Joe has helped Ashlee to make decisions for her future in both hockey and her university choices. Thanks so very much Joe!!

Total medal count over 6 years.... 28!!! Incredible!!!
Now the girls!!!... Right from day one Ashlee talked about how great the girls are. Ciara is the only player to be on Ashlee's team every year and they truly are like sisters. Each girl has been huge part of Ashlee's love for the game and the teammates!!! The laughs, the achievements... The tears ... All the wonderful memories shared with some truly incredible friends!! Every year there were new girls and more memories made!!! From "who looks best in the ugly dress" contest...to the many homemade t-shirts...to celebrating coach Joe's birthday more than once this season. There are so many great memories and life-long friendships FOR SURE!! There is a core group of girls that played together for 4 of the 6 years and those girls are forever friends!!

The hockey parents have some great memories too and I have made some terrific friends along the way. Thanks to Budge for teaching Perry to BBQ and smoke meat... He's getting pretty good but not quite as good as you so if you feel the need to cook a big feast I'm in!!! Thanks to Bill and Jacquie for all the great food, friendship and hospitality over the years.

To Aron and Tara for the sleepover when the weather was too bad to get back to Owen Sound...

To Howie and Tina for the great wine and conversation on my many sleepovers to reduce drive time...

To Shea Tiley and Grandpa John for sharing the driving and for the very loud singing coming from the girls in the back seat....

To Ron and Tori Terpstra for the border crossing from hell!!

And to all the other families that have had Ashlee over for sleepovers so she wouldn't have to travel as much! Thank you!!!!!

In closing, I would like to thank Howie and all the members of the Saugeen Maitland Executive! I was a member this season (although Ron Terpstra did all of the work... Thanks Ron!) I got to see first-hand how every dollar is spent... Every decision is made... Every single member is there to make this organization one of the best in Canada... Every bit of effort is for the girls!!!!

Thanks so much for the journey!!! For preparing Ashlee for the next step and truly being our HOCKEY FAMILY!!!

Take care and hope the success continues!!! Three cheers for Saugeen Maitland Women's Hockey!!!

Thanks to all of you!

Wendy Lawrence

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