Flames burn bright early on

In the world of local youth hockey one team has already stood out from the rest.

The XN Financial Flames have jumped off to a blazing start to the fall 2009 roller hockey season and are tied for second position in the under-8 Novice division after the first four regular season games.

The Flames squad consists of a core group of veteran star hockey players – Ethan Finlasson, Daniel Champoux, Megan Thompson and Sarah Jackson who were brought over in a blockbuster trade with the Rangers last season.

In addition the team acquired the high powered brother/sister act of Sammie and Douglas Rowland who have lead their respective lines in goal scoring from the first puck-drop this season.

Young Douglas actually leads the team in points scored this season with nine.

The Flames hockey squad also acquired a number of speedy rookies from last season’s Mite division, including Garrett Thompson and Gabriel McDermot who are proving to be too hot to handle for opposing defenders.

John Ross Clough has proven to be a solid off-season acquisition from last season’s championship Panthers team and has shown fearless determination in stopping the opposing puck carriers at the blue line.

Clough even earned player of the week honours in week three for an outstanding performance in goal. Flames management are also happy to see rookie Joe Maxfield back in the line-up with a gutsy performance against the Blue Iguanas after coming off the 10-day injured reserve list with an undisclosed upper body ailment.

Eva Hepburn and Kayla Godwin round off the Flames powerful line up and are quickly becoming a tandem to be reckoned with as their skating skills are improving dramatically every week. Watch out for these two Flames to start lighting up the scoreboard in games to come.

When they do they’ll be a head-ache for the teams above them in the standings.

Coming into this week the Flames trailed division leader the dms Bruins, who are 3-1 and boast 14-point scorer Justin Hastings.

Coldwell Banker Rangers are percentage points ahead at 2-2. The team boats a pair of 11 point scorers in Jered Holmes and Shawn Lansdell.

The 1-3 Walkers Blue Iguanas are currently in the cellar.

XN Financial is proud to be a youth roller hockey sponsor for a second season. Based in hockey hotbed Montreal Canada, XN was pleased to extend its sponsorship overseas for a much-loved sport.

When not watching the weekly Cayman youth roller hockey standings, XN Financial provides insurance and financial products designed specifically for the needs of international assignees, high net worth individuals and corporate directors and officers.

Sponsors, opponents and fans have noticed a slightly different make-up to the XN hockey squad this season. Much of the hoopla comes from the all-girl forward line featuring Megan Thompson, Sarah Jackson and Sammie Rowland.

The girls bring a mix of experience and competitive fire to the hockey team and have already combined for a total of 12 points in the first 4 games of the season.

Both Megan and Sarah have also had shining performances when called upon to take a turn in between the pipes, just like veteran net-minders.

When asked for her thoughts after being named player of the week in a closely fought week two loss against the dms Bruins, Sarah was quick to share the honours with her team-mates:

“I can’t take all the credit since our defense came up with a big effort in stopping many of the shots from getting through to our goal.’

Sammie Rowland added “It is really fun playing hockey with my friends. I love playing as a team and it is especially cool when we have the all-girl front line.’

Megan Thompson believes that the key to the girls’ success to date this season is that they have “worked really well together as a team.’

Megan sums it all up very simply: ‘Girls rule!’

The WestTel Youth Roller Hockey League continues at Kings Sports Centre on Saturdays with eight games played from 8am through to 4pm.

Game schedules are posted at www.caymanactive.com/csahockey.