Ladies of the ring

Charles Reid
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Leah MacLeod, left, and Katelyn Sutcliffe will play in Charlottetown Ringette's annual tournament, which began Thursday and continues through Sunday. MacLeod plays for the under-12 Charlottetown Orange Speed while Sutcliffe skates for the under-10 Charlottetown Orange Explosion.

Charlottetown Ringette welcomes 89 teams, more than 1,100 athletes to annual tournament

Not just hockey players go top shelf, roof daddy a wrister or deke a d-man for goals. Ringette has its share, too.

All those and more sweet moves are on display at Charlottetown Ringette's annual tournament. It began yesterday and continues through Sunday in Charlottetown, Cornwall and Pownal.

This year's version, the 12th, has attracted 89 teams and more than 1,100 athletes from P.E.I. and New Brunswick and needs six ices surfaces to cram in all 153 games in five age divisions.

Leah MacLeod, a 10-year-old, Grade 5 student at West Royalty Elementary School, laces up her skates today.

Her Charlottetown Orange Speed tangles with Dieppe Impact Three, at 11 a.m., at Cody Banks Arena in an under-12 division clash.

MacLeod is a five-year veteran of the sport and has a good idea of what her squad faces in trying to win the division.

"It's 50-50. There are a lot of good teams, but we're good, too. (Our job) is to communicate and get goals," the forward said Thursday at the CARI Complex. "We know the plays."

Originally designed as a winter team sport for girls, ringette has grown nationwide into an alternative to hockey for both girls and boys.

Programs are well-established in Souris, Montague, Charlottetown, Summerside and Rustico with 660 players on 49 teams. Charlottetown boasts more than 400 players.

And Kendra O’Brien from Souris and Ashley Hollis from Stratford, both defencemen, play for the National Ringette League's Atlantic Attack based out of New Brunswick.

Playing nationally is something else to shoot for, but eight-year-old Katelyn Sutcliffe isn't looking past her games, yet.

She's a forward on the under-10 Charlottetown Orange Explosion and began her division title hunt Thursday. For Sutcliffe, the game is fun when scoring or otherwise, but she's also aware of the challenges on the ice.

"I look forward to trying to score and getting the ring to pass to my teammates," said the Grade 3 student at West Kent Elementary School. "There are a lot of good teams, but we are pretty good."

If you have never seem ringette before, it's like and not like hockey.

It's fast-paced, good skating is a must, but players use a straight stick instead of a bladed stick to pass, carry and shoot a rubber ring, not a rubber puck, to score goals.

And Mike James, tourney chairman and president of Charlottetown Ringette, said the game differs in other ways, too.

"It has the speed of hockey, but on the technical side and positional side it's similar to basketball," he said. "It's very continuous. It has as many whistles (stopping play) as other sports, but play isn't stopped as long. Just five or six seconds before the game picks up again."

The championship games are Sunday at CARI. There is no admission charge for the event.

Ringette P.E.I. hosts the Eastern Canadian ringette championships April 14 to 17 at CARI. Teams from Ontario, New Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and P.E.I. compete in under-14 AA, under-16 A, under-19A and 18-Plus A divisions.

Updates and results at and on Twitter at #CRT2016.



Tourney time

What is it? Charlottetown Ringette's annual tournament. It began Thursday and continues through Sunday.

Where is it? At the CARI Complex, Simmons Sports Arena and Cody Banks Arena in Charlottetown, the APM Centre in Cornwall and the Pownal Sports


Who's here? 89 teams and more than 1,100 athletes from New Brunswick and P.E.I.

What's the breakdown? Age divisions are under-8, under-10, under-12, under-14, under-16/19.



Organizations: Cody Banks, West Royalty Elementary School, National Ringette League Grade 3 West Kent Elementary School

Geographic location: Charlottetown, New Brunswick, P.E.I. Cornwall Stratford Ontario Quebec Nova Scotia

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