Winter Games hopes rest on trio of Lady Wolves

By: Randy Pascal – Playback

 | Dec 31, 2013 - 2:17 PM |
lady wolves 660

lady wolves 660

Thousands of young athletes are vying for a berth in either the Ontario Summer or Winter Games. It's a scene that is repeated every two years across the province.

And it's certainly no different in Sudbury. It's a path well traveled by the girls who don the jersey of the Sudbury Lady Wolves program.

Traditionally, a small handful of local talent, typically numbering anywhere from two to four players, manages to crack the eight-team, provincewide lineup that has served as the OWHA (Ontario Women's Hockey Association) component of the games for the past few years.

Sudbury and area hopes at the 2014 event will be carried by a trio of young ladies from the Bantam AA Lady Wolves squad — namely defencemen Kailey Lapensee and Carley Olivier and forward Tayler Murphy.

All three advanced from a set of tryouts back in August in Ottawa.

"I was really excited," said Lapensee of receiving the email notification earlier this month. "It's going to be a lot of fun, a really good experience to play with a lot of good hockey players."

At the tryouts, the bantam girls tried to play hard and be noticed — it was that simple.

"There was a lot of competition there, but I thought I gave it my best," said Olivier. "I definitely wanted to show my shot and my skating ability — and to show that I know both sides of the game."

It was a similar story with Lapensee. Both blueliners expected to help jump start the offence when they suit up with the Sudbury AA team.

"I'm not exactly a rushing defenceman, but someone who can rush into the play," said Lapensee. "When the guys were telling us what they were looking for in a defenceman, I thought I did pretty well."

Forward Murphy was thankful for the opportunity not only to attend the tryout camp in Ottawa with her teammates, but also to play for the same team throughout that weekend.

"I'm used to their style of play, so it made it a little better for me," said Murphy.

Her focus, however, differed slightly from the two local rearguards.

"They wanted to see your drive, the back-checking, showing that you're an all-around player," Murphy said.

With the 2014 Ontario Winter Games set for the Muskokas from Feb. 27 to March 2, the excitement is building, not only for the local trio, but all of the athletes who will be in attendance.

"I know a couple of other girls that went from Sudbury two years ago, and apparently they had a really good time," said Lapensee.

She, like her compatriots, hope history repeats itself in that regard.

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