Pandas bamboo Stix (Canada Cup West hockey, Kelowna, BC, Canada)

Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix and Alberta Junior Pandas at the Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

The Alberta Junior Pandas and Calgary Team Stix faced one another for the second time in the semi-final of the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada. (see this link for the first match report)

Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix and Alberta Junior Pandas at the Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Bigger, faster, stronger

It was a game that felt different to the first outing. Bigger; faster, stronger as the Daft Punks might say. Yet the game was more blown out on the scoreboard which was showing 6-0 at the end of sixty minutes play.

Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix and Alberta Junior Pandas at the Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

It was a game dominated by strong neutral zone control by the Pandas which prevented most of the Stix launches from getting deep into the Alberta provincial side’s home space.

Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix and Alberta Junior Pandas at the Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

It was a game with many learnings to reflect on for the Stix AA side. Great determination through to the end where they had to kill off a five on three for a couple of infringements.

Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix and Alberta Junior Pandas at the Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Good luck Pandas in your final game. Safe trip home Stix. Hoping to see you at the Canada Cup West next year.

Bigger, faster, stronger…

Alberta Junior Pandas celebrate their 6-0 win against Calgary Team Stix AA at the Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

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Blackhawks beat Stix in overtime (Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada)

Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix and BC Blackhawks in the Canada Cup West, in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

The game was tied at 1-1 and so went to five minutes of overtime. Not a sudden death here, so when the Blackhawks scored play kept going.

Blackhawks score in overtime. Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix and BC Blackhawks in the Canada Cup West, in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Alas for the Calgary Team Stix, they were unable to pull that one back. The game went down to the final minute, the Stix pulled their goalie and worked the puck hard.

Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix and BC Blackhawks in the Canada Cup West, in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

The Blackhawks, who draw players from across the province of BC, found the space to put the puck between the vacant pipes and the game ended 3-1 to the local team.

Calgary Team Stix take a timeout during overtime. Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix and BC Blackhawks in the Canada Cup West, in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

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Stars send out Stix in semis of Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada

Action between Calgary Team Stix and Okanagan All-Stars at the Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

This was the second time these two Elite Bantam Female AAA teams had met in the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada (see earlier match report here). The first outing ended up real close, setting the stage for a cracking semi-final game.

Action between Calgary Team Stix and Okanagan All-Stars at the Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

The team and fans for the Okanagan All-Stars were not disappointed as they progressed through to the final with a 2-0 win against Calgary Team Stix AAA.

Action between Calgary Team Stix and Okanagan All-Stars at the Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

A strong defensive game by both teams was opened up with two minutes to go in the first period by a goal from the Stars.

Action between Calgary Team Stix and Okanagan All-Stars at the Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Things stayed the same right through to the last minutes of the game when the Stix took a penalty for a check deemed to be rougher than some of the others during this fiercely contested game.

Action between Calgary Team Stix and Okanagan All-Stars at the Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

The red and white All-Stars capitalized with their powerplay goal at 2:05 making it 2-0 giving precious little time for the Calgary team to get this one back. But with their goalie pulled, the six Stix attackers put some higher octane fuel in their tanks and attacked the Okanagan net repeatedly with a new level of intensity.

Action between Calgary Team Stix and Okanagan All-Stars at the Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

The local team’s defense held tight and their game was won.

Final score: Okanagan All-Stars 2-0 Calgary Team Stix.

Action between Calgary Team Stix and Okanagan All-Stars at the Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

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Calgary Team Stix AA crash the net and progress to the semis in the Canada Cup West in Kelowna

Stix player Kaelyn Cwik recovers from her crash into the net. Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix AA and Lakeland Lightning AA in the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Coach Dale Risling called this one an “If you win, you’re in”  game. By that, he meant two points were required for the Calgary Team Stix Elite Female Bantam AA to progress to the semi-finals of the Canada Cup West. For two periods it was not at all clear how this would turn out as both the Stix and the Lakeland Lightning competed for the puck and moved things along in controlled fashion. Except for the crash into the net by Kaelyn Cwik. That one clearly hurt the Stix forward.

Stix player Chyenne Risling on her way to the net. Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix AA and Lakeland Lightning AA in the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Four minutes into the final period defenseman Chyenne Risling skated down the left wing and just kept going, and going, to crash the puck into the net.

Chyenne Risling scores the first goal for the Stix. Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix AA and Lakeland Lightning AA in the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Chyenne Risling scores for the Stix. Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix AA and Lakeland Lightning AA in the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

The Stix celebration was brief though. Immediately from the face off, the Lightning drove to the net and drove the Stix goalie in there too with the puck. The video judges in Toronto, had they been watching, might have waived that one off. In their absence, the score went through and it was 1-1.

Another Stix player crashed into the net. This time it was Grace Crooks, wearing #4 who went in hard and had to take a few moments to regather herself.

Stix player, Grace Crooks also crashes the net. Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix AA and Lakeland Lightning AA in the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

The next Stix goal came just over a minute later, scored by #22 Quinn Cavanagh. It was quite a few moments before the Lightning goalie picked up the courage to venture out of her cave.

Quinn Cavanagh scores the second Stix goal. Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix AA and Lakeland Lightning AA in the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

 

The Lightning goalie retreats into her net. Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix AA and Lakeland Lightning AA in the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

With just over six minutes to go, Rachelle Plum put one more onto the scoresheet for the Stix.

Rachelle Plum scores the third goal for the Stix. Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix AA and Lakeland Lightning AA in the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Seconds later, Chyenne Risling topped an excellent game with her second goal, shot in from inside the blue line on the left side.

Chyenne Risling celebrates her second goal with her Stix teammates. Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix AA and Lakeland Lightning AA in the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Final score: Calgary Team Stix 4-1 Lakeland Lightning.

Coach Dale knows, the Stix are “in” on Sunday.

Calgary Team Stix celebrate their win. Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix AA and Lakeland Lightning AA in the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

 

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Oil Kings take out Stix in shoot out

It’s behind you! Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix and the Oil Kings at the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Day Two of the Canada Cup West in Kelowna and a bright and early ice time (06:30 am) for the Calgary Team Stix versus Oil Kings in the AA (Dubs) championship. The Oil Kings got off to a good start five minutes into the game played at Capital News Centre, home of the Kelowna Rockets.

Goal for the Stix. Action from game between Calgary Team Stix and the Oil Kings at the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

But the Stix came back to make it 1-1 five minutes later. It continued that way through the remainder of the game’s regular time.

Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix and the Oil Kings at the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Oil Kings score in the shoot-out. Action from game between Calgary Team Stix and the Oil Kings at the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

No time for overtime, it’s a shootout!

The score continued at one apiece through the remainder of the game. Despite some resilient, dominant play, the Stix were unable to capitalize on four power-play opportunities in the final period. Their momentum might have carried them well into the scheduled five minutes of overtime but then something went wrong with the schedule, the rules were changed and the game went straight to the shoot-out.

Stix score in the shoot-out. Action from game between Calgary Team Stix and the Oil Kings at the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

The Oil Kings found advantage in the goalkeeper prime time, putting the puck in the net a couple of times to the Stix one and so took the game, 2-1.

Action from the game between Calgary Team Stix and the Oil Kings at the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Next stop Winfield, a long drive but they say it’s just outside the Kelowna City limits for the final game of the day.

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Calgary Stix mix their results in day one of the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada

Calgary Team Stix AA goalie flashes the glove in the game against Vancouver Island Monarchs AA in the Canada Cup West, in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Stix Dubs Step up to win first game

Calgary Team Stix are fielding two teams at the Canada Cup West tournament in Kelowna this season. The action started on Friday in what is recognized as Western Canada’s premier spring hockey tournament. In one of the early morning games, played in an arena tucked under the shadow of Mount Boucherie, the Stix Dubs (AA team) put in a couple of goals to win 2-0 against the Vancouver Island Monarchs AA team.

Calgary Team Stix AA in action against Vancouver Island Monarchs AA in the Canada Cup West, in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Three TCPs is too much for the Stix Trips

The result went the other way for the Stix AA side (the Trips) in the afternoon at the Capital News Centre arena. Team Stix was leading after their goal in the first period and continued to play a good possessive game through the second. TCP pulled one back on a power-play in the third period then took the lead two minutes later. One more goal secured their win, 3-1.

Calgary Team Stix AAA in action against Tri-City Prospect in the Canada Cup West, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Opening goal scored by Calgary Team Stix AAA against Tri-City Prospects in the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Junior Pandas make it two wins in a day

The Dubs returned across Lake Okanagan toWest Kelowna for their late afternoon game against the Junior Pandas, who select players from across Alberta. The game went deservedly to the University of Alberta associated team 2-0, who put in a well-controlled yet physical performance. The result might have been closer had a puck clearly and fairly buried into the net been identified as such by the ice officials.

Calgary Team Stix AA in action against the Junior Pandas from Alberta in the Canada Cup West, in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Calgary Team Stix AA put away the puck but the goal was disallowed in their game against the Junior Pandas AA in the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

A peach of a game versus Okanagan All Stars AAA

Okanagan All Stars score their fourth goal in the game versus Calgary Team Stix AAA at the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

One period completed and things were not looking good for the Stix Trips (Calgary Team Stix AAA) going into the interval three goals down. This was fast-paced, playoff type hockey filled with physicality. The Stix goalie, Jazzie Rodak was shelled with shot after shot in the second. She held tight until 14 minutes in, when a hard shot from the Okanagan right winger lifted to beat her above the glove. Four goals down but not out. The Stix kept at it, hitting the crossbar at 3 minutes to go in the second. Encouraged by that close contact, they scored a minute later to go into the second interval 4-1.

Seven minutes to go in the third and the Stix scored again to make it 4-2.

Calgary Team Stix score their second goal in the game versus Okanagan All Stars AAA at the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

With a minute to go, the Stix pulled their goalie and sent out six forwards on a mission to score two more. They got one in, scored by Hailey Wiltshire with 27 seconds remaining on the clock.

Hailey Wiltshire scores the third goal for Calgary Team Stix AAA against the Okanagan All Stars AAA at the Canada Cup West in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Final score: Okanagan All Stars 4-3 Calgary Team Stix.

What a peach of a game in BC.

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Rugby season kicks off @CalgaryRugby and the referee gets tackled out of the game

Match referee, Kristina Wolfe, is taken down in the 2017 season opening game between Calgary Canucks and Calgary Hornets at Calgary Rugby Union Park.
© J. Ashley Nixon

If you left your sun cream in the dark recesses of a kitchen cupboard since last summer, like I did, it was an arm and leg burning day. The first outing of the rugby season in Calgary and, oh what a beauty.

The Calgary Rugby Union had all of their five fields turned out green and lush and every blade of grass was being used up by most of the local rugby clubs: Calgary Canucks, Hornets, Irish, Rams, Saints, Saracens, Bow Valley plus some Pirates and Druids,  escaped momentarily from the Stanley Cup frenzy in Edmonton. A host of young women players was there also for a Girls U13 rugby 7s Festival.

The game between Calgary Canucks and Hornets (Div. 2) had progressed to the second half. The Hornets were buzzing, putting in a few tries but the Canucks kept coming back in some open, fluid play. As a ruck developed in front of the Hornets posts, one of the Black and Yellow’s forwards took out the wrong guy: referee Kristina Wolfe. Her high-visibility punk-pink jersey was clearly no warning and the collision put her down on the turf. After some medical attention, she was up on her feet but in no form to continue running the game.

Match referee, Kristina Wolfe, nurses her swelling knee after an early departure from the 2017 season opening game between Calgary Canucks and Calgary Hornets at Calgary Rugby Union Park.
© J. Ashley Nixon

“I’ve been refereeing since I was fifteen,” said the New Zealand-born official who now resides in Okotoks, “but I’ve never not finished a game.”

Kristina, a Calgary Rugby Union Referees Society member, whose career pinnacle to date was to referee Kazakhstan versus Canada in the IRB World Cup 2006 Canada (Women’s Rugby World Cup) in Edmonton, was sat down on the touchline after the game, a bag of ice over her swelling right knee. “It might be some ligament damage”, she said bravely, “but I should be alright.”

Match Referee, Kristina Wolfe, is driven off the field after her incident at the 2017 season opener between Calgary Canucks and Calgary Hornets at Calgary Rugby Union Park.
© J. Ashley Nixon

I asked the international referee if she got his number? Kristina smiled and declined to answer as she and her inflamed ACL were helped into the green John Deere ATV and driven off for some attention.

I hope you recover well and soon: the great game of rugby needs you!

For more photographs from the opening day of the season at the Calgary Rugby Union, please go to this link at J. Ashley Nixon Photography.

Oliver White, Calgary Canucks scores a try in their 2017 season opening game against Calgary Hornets at Calgary Rugby Union Park. The Hornets won, 49-19.
© J. Ashley Nixon

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