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
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.
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.
"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."