One by one the free lands of Ontario fell to the power of the Dinos one ringette club...
The Dinos' ringette squad travelled to Ottawa for the University Challenge Cup Jan. 4-7 and brought back gold after defeating the University of Alberta in the final. The Dinos have an excellent record in this tournament, having won it three of the four times they have entered the competition since the club's inception and taking silver last year.
"We were all really excited to win because a lot of our girls are graduating this year," said co-captain Chelsea Clark.
The Dinos dominated the other university club teams in round-robin play with convincing wins, but had to battle in the final against the U of A. Danielle Pettem scored the Dinos' winner with three minutes left in the game, making the final score 3-2.
This weekend the U of A will have a chance to avenge their gold medal loss when they travel to Calgary for the Golden Ring tournament, which will see 181 teams of various age groups play in 18 different divisions. The Dinos will have their veteran players for that tournament, but close to half the team will graduate university this semester.
"I think we will still be very competitive with the other university teams because we have a strong base of young players," said second-year player Kara McLeod. "The Dinos ringette club has been increasing and bringing in more girls who are interested in playing."
Ringette is a relatively new sport. It was invented in 1963 by Canadian Sam Jacks. It's similar to hockey, but players cannot check each other. A rubber ring is used rather than a puck and players use hockey sticks with no blades to control the ring. For veteran players like Clark, ringette is certainly not hockey's more boring cousin.
"In ringette younger players learn to skate better rather than concentrating on their stick-handling skills," said Clark, noting that the use of a 30-second shot clock also makes the game more appealing to spectators.