Hinton Ringette returned to competitive play this past weekend, with two squads hosting action at Steve Hotchkiss Arena.
The U14 and U12 squads were both swept in their home doubleheaders, but Hinton Ringette Association president, Jason Sweet, says it was a big win just getting back into game action.
“All things considered, we should really feel lucky to be playing at all,” Sweet said, adding that while registration is down this season, there were still enough players to ice teams in four different age groups.
One of the big changes due to COVID this year are limits on the number of spectators allowed in the stands, with a limit of 20 people per viewing area in Steve Hotchkiss Arena for a total of 40 in all.
The U14 team kicked off the 2020-21 home schedule with a pair of losses to Spruce Grove on Oct. 17. Addison Klaver scored on the power play at 13:51 of the first period to even the score at 1-1 in the opening game, but Spruce Grove scored eight unanswered goals to build a 9-1 lead before Maggie Kempin scored again for Hinton in what was a 10-2 final.
Danica Walker and Ayla Goupil added assists for Hinton.
Hinton kept it much closer in Game 2 of the doubleheader with Maggie Kempin and Paityn Best scoring in the opening frame as Spruce Grove held just a 3-2 lead at the break. The visitors would score five of the next six goals in the second period to build an 8-3 lead before Leah Cournoyer scored her second of two goals in the period to make it an 8-4 final.
Walker and Best had two assists for Hinton and Klaver added one assist.
The U14 team hits the road to St. Albert this coming weekend for a pair of games Oct. 25.
The U12 team also got off to a tough start with a pair of home losses Oct. 18 to St. Albert. The visiting team came storming out of the gate in Game 1, scoring 10 goals in the first period to build a 10-1 lead. Hinton bounced back in the second period with a pair of goals from Halle Rushfeldt and one from Quinn Lepage. Ashtyn Rushfeldt had the first period goal for Hinton while Abi Delves had a pair of assists and Reece Batovanja, Tylre Walker and Lepage had one assist each in the 14-4 loss.
Similar to the U14 squad, the U12s were much more competitive in Game 2, though a slow start put them in a 6-1 deficit after the first period.
Hinton scored five of the next seven goals in the first half of the second period to pull to within two goals at 8-6, but St. Albert closed the door in the final 10 minutes and scored an insurance goal to make the final 9-6.
Halle Rushfeldt had a hat-trick for Hinton, while Ashtyn Rushfeldt had a pair of goals and Lepage had the other goal for the home team. Abbey May and Walker added one assist each.
The U12 squad doesn’t play again until a pair of road games Nov. 7 in Spruce Grove.
Meanwhile, the Hinton U10 squad hosts St. Albert for a pair of games Oct. 24 to open their season. The front end of the doubleheader starts at 11 am and the second game is scheduled for 2:45 pm.
The Hinton U16 team also opens its season Oct. 24 at home with a pair of games against Leduc that are scheduled for 12:45 pm and 4:30 pm.