Dedicated. That’s the best word to describe the 19U Wild Rep players’ parents. You see, the weekend of the 2014 girls’ and women’s MLK tournament in San Jose wasn’t just about hockey. On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers were vying for the NFC championship. Winner heads to the Super Bowl, so everything was riding on this football game. Wild team parents, bravely sporting navy and lime in enemy territory, huddled in the hotel lounge, glued to flat-screen TVs. At halftime, with the Seahawks down, it was time to head to the rink. And all were proud to do so, for the “little team that could” was ready to rumble.
January in San Jose brought a welcome dose of sunshine and temps in the high 60s. When the girls weren’t on the ice, they were heading to the beach, wandering among the cafes and shops of San Pedro Square, or even holding their own team meetings in hotel rooms to discuss game strategies. And yes, they even made time to do homework for school. The tournament takes place just before finals for many of the girls, but their commitment to their academic success, as well as their athletic endeavors, makes them true champions.
The first game for the Wild, late Saturday morning, delivered a heavy loss of 0-7 . The second game, Saturday evening, was a close match against Colorado Select. The Wild took notes from the hard-driving, in-control Alaskan team and managed to stay a point or two ahead the entire game, ending with 4 points on the scoreboard to Colorado’s 3.
Sunday morning started out well for the Wild, the team with the first point on the board, but victory was not in the cards for the Wild. The Arizona Lady Coyotes overpowered the Wild in what was at times a contest to see how many “Wild Coyotes” could fit in the penalty boxes. That feisty battle ended 1-5.
Sunday afternoon the Wild relaxed with some well-deserved downtime. While some members watched the football game, others opted to wander downtown, taking in the sights and sounds which included seas of red-clad football fans jamming sidewalk cafes and pubs, enjoying their short-lived revelry (the Seahawks won the championship and went on to become winners of Super Bowl XLVIII).
The consolation round highlighted the Wild’s focused determination in a 2-0 shut-out game versus the Lady Roughriders. According to Head Coach, Shaun Miller, “The Wild worked hard this weekend, quickly learning from their mistakes and experiences on the ice.” Now that’s dedication.
Bellingham freelancer Victoria Reeb travels to ice rinks far and wide to support her daughter’s love of playing hockey for Washington Wild. When the weather warms up, she can be found at the motocross track, cheering on her son and daughter. She writes about finding the positive in any situation, and gets lots of inspiration from her active family, three pet dogs and job at an elementary school.