Labatts brews up win at Las Vegas

Local women's hockey team takes title
The Juneau Ice Cold Labatts celebrate after winning their January 27 championship game in the Las Vegas Women's Hockey Classic. Top, from left: Coach Thomas McKenzie, Sarah Lowell, Kathleen Hansen, Angel Kwok, Laine Durgin, Katie Spielberger, Lorna Wilson, Christy Hartman, coach Denis Durgin. Bottom from left: Valeria Martinez, Daria Horne, Rachel Brown, Caroline Schultz, Lizzie Solger, Janice McLean. Front: goalie Heather Strickland.

JUNEAU - The Juneau Ice Cold Labatts women’s hockey team returned from the Las Vegas Women’s Classic tournament last weekend with a new trophy to add to the case at Treadwell Arena. The Labatts team, made up of 13 women who play in the Juneau Adult Hockey Association (JAHA) league, competed in an intermediate division against teams from Los Angeles, Phoenix, St. Louis and Durango, Colorado.


The Labatts were undefeated coming into the January 27 championship game against the Durango Betties, having won their first three games 3-0, 6-0 and 3-0. With three shutouts under her belt, goalie Heather Strickland didn’t want to hear anyone say the “S word,” but she continued to block every single shot she faced from the Betties. At the end of three periods, the score stood at 0-0, and the game went into sudden death overtime. The Betties were fierce, but the Labatts were determined. Finally, with just a few minutes left on the clock, the Labatts offense shook off the Betties and launched a series of shots culminating in the game-winning goal by Caroline Schultz.

Center Valeria Martinez, defender Lorna Wilson, Schultz and Strickland were named to the all-tournament team.

“I’ve never been so proud to coach a group of people as I am with this team,” said coach Thomas McKenzie. “The way this team came together during the tournament was awesome to watch.”

The Labatts represented a wide range of experience levels and ages, and many of the women had never played in an out-of-town tournament before. This was intentional, said team captain and JAHA president Laine Durgin, who hopes the team will usher in a “new era” of women travel hockey players from Juneau.

“I’m glad so many women from JAHA could come together and represent Juneau in Las Vegas,” she said. “Looking forward to going again next year!”

The Juneau Ice Cold Labatts are Rachel Brown, Laine Durgin, Daria Horne, Kathleen Hanson, Christy Hartman, Angel Kwok, Sarah Lowell, Valeria Martinez, Janice McLean, Caroline Schultz, Lizzie Solger, Katie Spielberger, Heather Strickland and Lorna Wilson.


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