STELLARTON – The Fundy-Highland Selects hope they can capture the Atlantic Bantam AAA female hockey championship.
The Selects are representing Nova Scotia at the championship in Carbonear, N.L. after winning four of five games to earn the provincial Bantam AA banner. They are competing as a AAA team because Nova Scotia does not have a AAA division. Its top tier is AA and is the equivalent of the other three Atlantic provinces.
Coach Bryan Smith said the team has earned what they have achieved so far in league and championship play.
“We have the best defence in the league,” he said.
Gabby Arsenault has been a stalwart in goal, including three shutouts at the provincial championship.
The Selects opened with a 1-0 defeat against Metro West Force White, who finished one point ahead of the Selects to claim first place during the regular season, before edging Metro East Inferno 1-0 and shutting out the Cape Breton Blizzard 3-0.
Team captain Olivia Fitt was the tournament’s leading scorer and collected three goals as the Selects downed the Quad Counties Islanders from Cape Breton 5-1.
Fitt had a total of five goals, while Ellie Clarke added two goals and Erin MacNeil, Jaylen Langille and Julia May MacDonald got the others.
Arsenault got her third shutout in the championship game as the Selects nipped Metro West Force White 1-0.
“She’s a great goalie,” Smith said. “She has her best game of the tournament in the final.”
MacDonald, Megan Smith and Eva Gennoe are the Selects’ alternates. The team has six players from Antigonish, two from Truro and one from Guysborough and the rest are from Pictou County.
Fitt plays on a line that includes Maddie Beson and Willa Evans.
“Every line is balanced,” she said.
Camaraderie is another asset, MacDonald said.
“The players are all like our best friends,” she said. “Everyone works really well together.”
From left are Bantam AA Selects alternates Megan Smith and Julia May MacDonald, captain Olivia Fitt and alternate Eva Gennoe. (Goodwin photo)