Saskatchewan

'I'm super proud of them': Regina girls hockey team wins co-ed division championship

The Regina female Panthers swept playoffs in the Peewee C league this week, winning all four of their games and the division title.

Girls team goes undefeated in playoffs to take title

The Regina female Panthers came out on top in the Peewee C league this week. (Facebook/Hockey Regina)

The Regina female Panthers swept playoffs in the Peewee C league this week, winning all four of their games and the division title.

The Panthers were one of three all-girls teams in the 10-team league and went into playoffs with a record of 18-1-5.  

Coach Aaron Holmes-Binns said many of the 14 girls on the team had played together before so they formed a tight bond and were able to encourage each other along the way.

"When they were down or struggling during the games they'd rally amongst themselves, and the coaches would offer as much encouragement as we could, and they just seemed to be able to pull out the win when they had to," he said.

He said the stands erupted and all of the players rushed to the goalie when the Panthers officially won. An outpouring of support on social media came after their win was posted.  

"It was just the culmination of a great season. I'm super proud of them," he said. "The buzzer at the end of our final game was amazing. It was a great way to end the year."
Ava Holmes-Binns and Coach Aaron Holmes-Binns with the team's league championship trophy. (Photo submitted by Aaron Holmes-Binns )

It's safe to say that Holmes-Binns disagrees with those who think girls can't take on boys on the ice.

"There are very skilled female hockey players out there right now and they're going to give  anybody a run for their money, whether it's a co-ed team or an all-female team," he said.

'I'd love to play in the Olympics when I'm older'

Ava Holmes-Binns, 12, played defense on the team and said the season was "a lot of fun."

When asked if it was hard going up against boys teams she replied, "Sometimes. But it's fun winning against them."

She said she didn't expect to win playoffs, but went in with a positive outlook.

"I knew we had a chance and I think we just played as hard as we could," Ava said.

After aging out to the Peewee division, girls can continue to play co-ed hockey as Bantams but body contact is initiated. Instead, Holmes-Binns said most opt to join the all-female Bantam league in southern Saskatchewan.

Ava has plans to continue on with hockey. She said she looks up to famous female players, including those who play for Canada on the world stage.

"I think they're great role models and I'd love to play in the Olympics when I'm older," she said.

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