Women's puck loop growing 0
The Orillia Hawks Women's Recreational Hockey League wrapped up its 2011-12 season Sunday night at Rotary Place.
In the championship final, the Twin Lakes Oldtimers claimed the title with a 4-0 decision over Team Green.
"It was a terrific season," said league general manager Lee Wassell. "We've seen tremendous growth in the game, as this year we grew to six teams and next year we will be adding another two teams."
The league originally began play three years ago with four teams.
"We started with three Orillia teams and one Barrie team and now we have six Orillia teams and, based on overflow from the Barrie and Midland leagues, we'll be adding teams next year from both those cities, giving us eight teams at a minimum," Wassell said.
"The growth primarily comes from having all our games at Rotary Place, as we used to play in Rama, and with a number of our players going to school at Georgian College and Lakehead University, the location is perfect," Wassell said.
"Another key factor is that Canada's Olympic women's program has helped to motivate and inspire a number of new players to pick up the game for the first time or, for many, it has provided them with the passion and desire to get back into it."
Lack of ice time was one of the reasons it's taken so long to get the loop going.
"We tried for 10 years to get a league off the ground and every year we would go to the city asking for ice, but there just wasn't any available, and so we were lucky to find a home in Rama and then the call came offering us ice here at Rotary Place and we gladly accepted," Wassell said.
The women's league, which includes players from age 16 to 60, offers players an opportunity to continue playing once they come out of the girls' minor hockey program.
"This year was a great year and we have a lot of positives heading into next season," Wassell said.