With the NHL playoffs well underway, the entire country is hockey crazy, it seems.
The buzz around the living rooms and pubs from coast to coast is climbing higher and higher with every game, as teams are gradually eliminated one by one and the quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup is mounting more and more as the moments pass.
With the popularity of the NHL and the professional sports arena being a male-dominated venue, the thought that hockey is “just for the boys” is something that many would default when considering any action on the ice.
However for Dave Edison and the Springdale Bravettes, they would likely beg to differ right away.
The Bravettes are an all-female hockey team that for the past three years have gone undefeated. They’re made up of a group of teenagers between the ages of 14-15 and are a force to be reckoned with provincially and nationally. For Mr. Edison, being their coach is an honour and a privilege in his mind.
“I love it,” he said. “These girls have something special, and to coach them is a real pleasure and something I really enjoy.”
The Bravettes have managed to develop chemistry that has been unmatched in the female hockey world anywhere in the province. For their coach, he feels that the secret to the success is their willingness to learn and listen.
“These girls show up to practice wanting to learn,” he explained. “They’re interested in working together as a team, and doing their best to win – no one is there to show off or anything. They just want to be better at what they do.”
That attitude says Mr. Edison, is one of the major factors as to why many of the young prospects on the team are destined for bigger and better things in the future when it comes to education and opportunities on and off the ice.
“These girls are destined for big things,” he said. “The opportunities for them down the road are endless – everything from scholarships, to prep schools, if they keep at it they can go far with this.”
He went on to refer to Abby Clarke, a former Bravette, who is attending a prep school in New Brunswick where she plays for the school’s hockey team. Similar opportunities likely lay in waiting for other members of the team, he believes.
One such opportunity for some members of the Bravettes happened a couple weeks ago when they, along with Mr. Edison, were invited to participate in the largest Female Hockey Tournament in the world in Brampton, Ontario.
The girls were part of a team representing Newfoundland and Labrador, a first in the tournament’s history.
Mr. Edison was one of the coaches, and said he was pleased with the girls’ performance in the tournament.
“We made the playoffs, and outshot the other team 30-something to five,” he explained. “They had a red-hot goaltender who stopped every shot, and we lost the game 1-0, which eliminated us from the tournament.”
Despite the loss, he said, they have something to be proud of.
“None of these girls should ever be disappointed with how they played,” he said. “They’re good at what they do, and they should be proud of their accomplishments no matter what.”