The Cowichan Secondary Thunderbirds and Lake Cowichan Lakers made history last Thursday and took a huge step in growing their game when they squared off at the Island Savings Centre in the first game of the new Vancouver Island high school girls hockey league.
Perhaps appropriately, the game ended in a 3-3 tie.
“We really couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off the new female high school league — a 3-3 tie with Lake Cowichan was absolutely perfect,” Cowichan head coach Mike Moroz said. “The kids played great, we had parents and students cheering both teams on. It was just fantastic.”
The two Valley teams battled end-to-end for the first two periods, with both goalies making huge saves to keep the game scoreless.
Emily Vaughn opened the scoring early in the third period, but Taylor Ullman responded just over a minute later to even things up once again. Just another minute later, Madeline Moroz scored to give the T-Birds their first lead of the game.
The Lakers responded with two, including Vaughn’s second of the contest, to take a 3-2 lead with nine minutes left to play. The T-Birds pressed hard for the remainder of the game, and their hard work was rewarded with less than two minutes left on the clock when Moroz potted her second of the game after some excellent work by teammate Jenna Batty.
Mike Moroz, who led the efforts to organize the league over the summer, was thrilled to get the first game in the books and excited about the rest of the season.
“The more work we do on this project, the more convinced we all become that it’s going to have a tremendous impact on the growth of the female game on the Island,” he said. “Just on these two teams alone, we’ve got a solid core of girls that play both in the community and represent their schools, and a mixture of girls returning to the sport and those who play other sports trying it for the first time, and we know this is happening at schools all up and down the Island. We’re very exited.”