By Mariah Lee, January 31 2017 —
In the 14 years that the Dinos ringette team have been on campus, head coach Murray Pettem has seen numerous athletes grow as players, teammates, students and women.
Pettem’s history with the team started when his daughter was a player during their inaugural season in 2003. He became a member of the coaching staff during the team’s second year and has been involved almost every season since.
“[I’ve] been involved with coaching for 25 years and I keep coming back because it’s such a tremendous sport, both on and off the ice,” Pettem said. “Both my daughters played ringette growing up, [and it] tremendously benefitted their lives — in terms of confidence, friendships, and knowing how to work on a team. One of my daughters is a lawyer now and had she not played ringette, she wouldn’t have become the person she is today.”
The Dinos travelled to Guelph, Ontario to compete in the University Challenge Cup from Dec. 28–31, 2016. Even though the team came in fourth, many of the players had some of their finest moments at the tournament.
In one game, defencemen Tassia Rushford and Leah Gates had to play an extended shift while defending against the aggressive offence in the Dinos’ end. The
moment is one of the highlights of Rushford’s time with the Dinos.
“[It’s been] surreal,” Rushford said. “This has been the best experience. The Dinos have given me confidence in my school and provided me with lifelong friends. I’m just really happy to be here.”
Pettem encourages his team to treat others with respect, to improve their skills and for each player to have an enjoyable season.
“It’s such a supportive environment,” first-year defenceman Jasper Greysson-Wong said. “Especially while going through school and experiencing many challenges for the first time without the familiarity of being at home.”
At one of the regular league games against the Calgary Ringette League Open A Blitz in early January, the Blitz’s goalie was unable to make it to the game and one of the Dinos goalies offered to play for the other team. Players say this kept the game light-hearted and fun, while still maintaining a competitive spirit.
“[Ringette is] a community based sport,” Emily Drake, the Dinos goalie who subbed, said. “No one [has] malice towards the other. You want to win and be competitors, but the relationship still stands.”
Veteran player Lindsey Lovre agrees with that sense of community.
“Ringette is so much more than something I had done for years on end since I was six-years old,” she said. “It was the place I met my best friends. It was the place that taught me to be committed. It was the place that I learned that sometimes even the best teams aren’t successful. It was the place I learned that girls need role models. And more than anything, I realized that I would be just like those women I played with my first year in Open AA — I would be playing until I couldn’t any more.”
The Dinos will host the U16AA IMPACT on Feb. 5 at WinSport. The game starts at 8:45 p.m.