“They just have to want it now as a team”
by Than Acuff
After battling to several ties and one close loss so far this season, the West Elk Wolverines u19 girls hockey team notched its first win when the team beat Telluride 6-1 on Saturday, January 20.
The Wolverines have been in every game thus far this season yet struggled to find the final scoring touch to secure wins. They finally put the scoring snafu behind them in their first game against Telluride.
Coach Jena D’Aquila credits some of the result to a successful tournament the previous weekend as the Wolverines teamed up with a Vail team to win the Vail MLK tournament.
“They came in with a winning sense in their head,” says D’Aquila.
The Wolverines took a 1-0 lead in the first period as Jaden Lucas scored off an assist from Sierra D’Aquila and then built a little breathing room in the second period as Lauren Shrieves and Lucas each found the back of the net for a 3-0 lead.
They opened it up in the third, though, to put the game away, scoring three goals and allowing just one for the 6-1 win. Jaden Cavarra started it off scoring in the first and sixth minute for a 5-0 Wolverines lead. Telluride finally broke the seal on the Wolverines net in the eighth minute of the third but Cavarra struck for a third time in the same period to put the finishing touches on the win.
“We always tell the girls to try to get at least 10 shots on net each period,” says D’Aquila. “They got the shots in the first and second period so we just told them, ‘You got the shots, now put them in the net.’ They really stepped it up in the third period—it was awesome.”
Wolverines’ goalie Rylei Robbins finished the game stopping 10 of 11 shots.
The two teams met once again later that day with a much different outcome. Despite outshooting Telluride 44-9 through all three periods, the back of the net eluded the Wolverines and they were left with the bitter taste of a 0-0 tie.
“We might have just been a little cocky from the win in the first game,” says D’Aquila. “Our puck possession was not as good and they were either not making enough passes or making too many passes. It was frustrating.”
The Wolverines return home this weekend to host New Mexico. New Mexico currently sits second in the league standings with a record of 8-1-1.
“They have a strong program down there,” says D’Aquila. “With all of these ties, assistant coach Christian told them that the difference is just one goal. I think they can take it to any team. Physically they are there. They just have to want it now as a team.”