Members of the West Central Wildcats Peewee girls hockey team pose for a group shot following a team practice last Tuesday night. The Wildcats are new  to the Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League this season.

Members of the West Central Wildcats Peewee girls hockey team pose for a group shot following a team practice last Tuesday night. The Wildcats are new to the Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League this season.

Sylvan Minor Hockey forms collaborative girls program

Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey has teamed up with minor hockey organizations in Rocky Mountain House and Spruce View to create an all-girls

Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey has teamed up with minor hockey organizations in Rocky Mountain House and Spruce View to create an all-girls program that’s competing in the Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League this season.

The West Central Wildcats program encompasses Peewee, Bantam and Midget age divisions, and was created to enhance female hockey in the area, according to Steve Wilcox, female director for the Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey Association.

“Sylvan Lake has had all-girls hockey teams for eight years now, and this year got together with Rocky Mountain House and Spruce View for greater numbers and to build a more competitive program in all three communities,” he said. “Our program is set up for growth — people don’t need to worry about there not being a team for girls to play on at a competitive level in a strong, well-run league.”

Don Goyan, who sits on the program’s newly formed committee, said the program has so far been well received and has seen players from each community working well together.

“All the girls are really excited and the teams are coming together as a cohesive group, which is exciting to see,” he said. “It’s nice for the girls to have an identity they can associate with and be attached to.”

Paige Goyan, who plays with the Peewee Wildcats, is enjoying being part of the new setup, and values the togetherness that exists between her teammates.

“It’s fun, you play competitively and you work as a team to score goals,” she said.

Don Goyan said the Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League — which also includes teams from Strathmore, Cochrane, Red Deer, Olds and Airdrie — offers a competitive challenge for the newly formed Wildcats.

“It’s fun, competitive hockey no matter what level you’re at,” he said. “Overall, we want the girls to be successful and look back on it being a great year with the desire to do it again.”