The Rocky Mountain Raiders U13 AA hockey team from Okotoks recently went up to Grande Prairie to compete in the 2024 Alberta Winter Games and came home with medals.

Not only did the girls team make it onto the podium, but they ended a losing streak they had been on since December.

The tournament began with a three-game round robin, to determine who would make it to the playoffs.

"We lost our first game," explains Team Manager Tricia Arsenault. "A bit of a tough loss. We lost 4-0 to Red Deer, but then we came back and won our next two games. Which put us in second place in our pool."

Then, during the playoffs, they had to take on the first-place team in the second pool, who was the undefeated team from Lloydminster.

The Raiders were hoping to be the first team to beat them, but unfortunately that didn't happen.

"The game started out really good, with a tie game for a while and then they got away on us in the third period," says Arsenault.

That loss sent them to the bronze medal matchup against the team from Red Deer, again.

After a scoreless game, the game went into a five minute, 3-on-3 overtime, where neither team was able to put the puck into the net.

It was during the shootout that the Raiders were finally able to score to beat Red Deer 1-0, earning them the bronze medal.

"We are so proud of the girls at how they bounced back from such a defeat the night before and we had to play that last game first thing the next morning," Arsenault says. "So, it was, finish the game the night before, quite late and then had to be up super early and be on our best performance the next morning. And the girls pulled through and we came home with the bronze."

Arsenault says that it was amazing how the girls came together as a team and fought until the end, proving they were meant to be there.

The Raiders now have two regular season games left to play, and then it's time for playoffs, which begin the second weekend of March.

And the Okotoks Oilers U15 AA team also went up to Grande Prairie for the Alberta Games also making it all the way to the bronze medal game.

They faced off against the top team from Peace Country and took them into overtime, but the Oilers lost 6-5. 

Okotoks Oilers U15 AA team at the Alberta Winter Games (photo credit: Alberta Winter Games)Okotoks Oilers U15 AA team at the Alberta Winter Games (photo credit: Alberta Winter Games)