Cayman girls rock roller hockey

The 2007 Unicorns team

Fourteen of Cayman’s competitive roller hockey players are girls, some holding top ranks in the statistics in some age groups, organizers said in a press release.

Head coach Dennis Passchier noted, “Whether we’re coaching the kids for the next league game, the regional qualifiers or the NARCh finals, every player contributes to the success of the team in different ways – skating, puck handling and shooting skills, but there are also mental and leadership skills that come into play under the pressure of a tough game. It doesn’t matter if the players are girls or boys, we want to teach them to work as a team and draw the best out of each of them.”

In the 2017 combined 14-Under/12-U division, Sadie Finch and Maryn McCoombs (Dart Ducks), Molly Kehoe (Lightning) and Shay Windsor (EY Rangers) are among the top scorers and defenders, and goalie Olivia Lambert (Islanders) makes it tough for her opponents to find an opportunity to score on her net, the press release states.

Molly, Maryn and Olivia will all play for the Cayman roller hockey team when it competes in at least one of two qualifiers in Irvine, California, in April and Snellville, Georgia, in May. Through these regional qualifiers, the team will aim to earn a spot at the North American Roller Hockey Championships (NARCh) in Toronto in June.

In the 10-U division, Izzy Weber plays for team CIBC with Ciara Anderson, whose brother Cian plays for team PwC.

In the 8-U division, Team KPMG, currently in second place, includes Ailey Finch, Anya Harrison and Sarah Godwin. Coco and Rio Windsor, following in big sister Shay’s footsteps, play for Team Deloitte. Elliana Marr and Rosario Jefferson play for Silver Wheaton, and Cami Allard plays with brother Phil for the Heat.

In the 2017 league, the 6-U division has a solid pipeline of girls coming up through the ranks.

In 2006, Coach Dave Champoux opened the sport to girls who played for the Unicorns, sporting pink sticks and purple jerseys. It became apparent pretty quickly that these Unicorns were quite capable of taking on the boys, the press release states, and in 2009 the girls and boys were integrated into a coed league. Not all of the original Unicorns stuck with roller hockey, but many of them have gone on to excel in other sports. Morgan Brooks returned to Canada, and at 15 plays ice hockey for the Penticton Vees in British Columbia; Sarah Jackson, Jade Solomon and Sammy Rowland have competed in swimming at CARIFTA and other international meets; Jenna Boucher has won awards in equestrian competitions; and Sami Peene represents Cayman in gymnastics.

The roller hockey league at Kings Sports Centre runs through to the finals May 12-13, with travel to the North American Roller Hockey Championships in July.

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