The Juneau Capitals returned from the 2017 Alaska State Hockey Association 14U Girls Championships with only one win last weekend. However, the 12 skaters earned the distinction as the first all-girls youth hockey team from Juneau to compete at any level.
Juneau teams have become regulars at the ASHA state tournaments for over a decade now, mainly consisting of boys players. This season, though, head coach Jill Weitz and assistant coaches Gregory Stopher and Luke Adams fielded an all-girls team which played as a team once a week.
The team features players ages 12-14, who according to Weitz, have kindled a love of hockey.
“I was incredibly impressed with how hard the Juneau team of girls skated throughout the entire tournament,” Weitz said.
The Capitals played two games each on April 7 and 8. They lost their first game 5-1 against Mat-Su but shut out Hockey Club Fairbanks during the second game of the day, 8-0. Anna Dale scored her second, third and fourth goals of the tournament in the win over Fairbanks.
The following day, the Capitals played close games against Kenai and Anchorage (Jr. Avalanche), but lost both. Kenai won 3-2 and Anchorage 3-1 against the Capitals, who will be without a rink soon. The Treadwell Arena closes for the season this Sunday.
Next year, the team hopes to recruit more girls so the younger players can form their own 12U state tournament team.
Inaugural 14U Juneau Capitals Girls Hockey Team
Coaches: Jill Weitz, Gregory Stopher, Luke Adams
Manager: Tania Hansen
Players: Taylor Bentley, Allesandra Friend, Nikki Lanhum, Anna Dale, Kara Hort, Violet Colbry-Rook, Minta Schwartz, Amelia Stopher, Melody York, Paige Adams, Bailey Hansen, Lydia Ploof
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com.