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Girls on the ice: New competitive female hockey team based in Queens

Chloe Burgess, a 13 year-old Queens County resident, is playing on a new competitive all female Bantam AA team. She loves her new team and the atmosphere it brings with it.
Chloe Burgess, a 13 year-old Queens County resident, is playing on a new competitive all female Bantam AA team. She loves her new team and the atmosphere it brings with it.

LIVERPOOL - Sitting in a dressing room alone, as the rest of the team is next door getting excited about the big game, isn’t very fun.

That has been a common experience for many of the girls on a new hockey team in Queens County.

Chloe Burgess is one of those girls. She loves being on a new all-girls team that’s made its home at Queens Place Emera Centre (QPEC).

The new Western Region Female Bantam AA team just started up at QPEC. The competitive team represents all of the South Shore from Hubbards to Yarmouth and takes girls from ages 13–15. The name of the new team is expected to be announced this week.

The team is being hosted by the Queens County Minor Hockey Association (QCMHA). Over the summer, it was decided to put the team together and tryouts were held on Labour Day weekend.

One of the highlights for Burgess is being in a dressing room with her teammates before and after games.

“I like it a lot, it’s a lot different than being with the boys because instead of being jammed in that little room, you actually get to talk to people,” says Burgess.

The 13-year-old has been playing hockey for over seven years, all on boy teams. Although she enjoyed her years leading up to this point, she says it’s different being on an all girls team.

“It’s a little more stick stuff and a lot less body,” she says.

Trying out for the team was nerve-wracking, she said, but she’s excited to play some opening games with her new teammates. Burgess is the only player from Queens County on the team.

That has been a common experience for many of the girls on a new hockey team in Queens County.

Chloe Burgess is one of those girls. She loves being on a new all-girls team that’s made its home at Queens Place Emera Centre (QPEC).

The new Western Region Female Bantam AA team just started up at QPEC. The competitive team represents all of the South Shore from Hubbards to Yarmouth and takes girls from ages 13–15. The name of the new team is expected to be announced this week.

The team is being hosted by the Queens County Minor Hockey Association (QCMHA). Over the summer, it was decided to put the team together and tryouts were held on Labour Day weekend.

One of the highlights for Burgess is being in a dressing room with her teammates before and after games.

“I like it a lot, it’s a lot different than being with the boys because instead of being jammed in that little room, you actually get to talk to people,” says Burgess.

The 13-year-old has been playing hockey for over seven years, all on boy teams. Although she enjoyed her years leading up to this point, she says it’s different being on an all girls team.

“It’s a little more stick stuff and a lot less body,” she says.

Trying out for the team was nerve-wracking, she said, but she’s excited to play some opening games with her new teammates. Burgess is the only player from Queens County on the team.

Even while waiting for the ice to be cleaned, the new team is on its feet and practices some moves outside the dressing room.

Building camaraderie

The kind of camaraderie that Burgess feels with her new teammates is exactly the type of feeling coach Jeremy Kini wants to foster.

“Anyone who plays hockey knows you play for the locker room, you play for the camaraderie, you play for the friendships,” he says.

“That’s what it’s about, it’s about the memories.”

Kini coached various teams over the past few years, including the South Shore Ice Sharks AA bantam boys last year.  This is his first time coaching an all-girls team, however. He says the girls’ team has really impressed him so far.

“The girls are there to do one thing and one thing only…they’re just more engaged,” he says.

Kini is excited to offer the fledgling team a chance to compete and hopes that the new team helps grow competitive girls hockey.

“This program is designed to give our girls an opportunity to play competitive hockey in our region at a high level. It’s been there for a long time for the boys and it hasn’t been there for the girls,” says Kini.

The team is ready to compete, he adds, but they could use some sponsors. Jerseys and socks are expensive and to purchase the new ones required will cost over $3,000. Any businesses interested in sponsoring the team can contact the QCMHA.

 The team starts its first competitive games on the Oct. 18 weekend.

The team takes a knee and listens to their coach for a few quiet moments.

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