British Columbia

Vancouver high school hockey team beats odds, wins championship title

Gear library and mix of players helps the Sir Charles Tupper Tigers win the banner only months after forming.

Gear library and mix of players helps the Sir Charles Tupper Tigers win the banner only months after forming

Sir Charles Tupper Tigers' player Catherine Readman celebrates winning the Vancouver high school title. The team didn't expect to win a single game in their first season of play. (Don Barthel)

They weren't expected to win a single game in their first season of play, but somehow the girls of the Sir Charles Tupper Tigers hockey team pulled off the Vancouver high school equivalent of Miracle on Ice by capturing the 2019 championship trophy and banner.

"We were all surprised too," said first year player Isabela Hastings. "I mean, it's Tupper's first year and all my friends said you're not going to win."

The Tigers defeated Point Grey 5-2 in the championship game earlier this week, just three months after holding their first practice.

The group only came into existence thanks to an initiative by coaches Todd Hickling and Ed Jay to create a barrier-free team at the school. 

The Sir Charles Tupper Tigers with the championship banner. (Don Barthel)

Part of the effort included creating a gear lending library of donated equipment so new players, like Hastings, could try the game at no cost.

"I don't know what I would have done otherwise, it's just very expensive for all that gear," she said. 

Hickling says a number of top-level midget rep players who attend Tupper also joined the team, making for a magical group dynamic. 

Tupper defeated Point Grey 5-2 in the championship game. (Don Barthel)

"They were super keen and unbelievably supportive of the new players," he said.

"I've never coached a group of such wide-ranging abilities and ages. We just felt our way through the season and somehow did more things right than wrong."

Hastings, who's in Grade 10, says she's already looking forward to next season.

"I took away a medal but I also took away some really great memories." 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.