The Western Regional Women’s U18 Hockey Championship went down at Stride Place this past weekend, and two locals impressed many. Forwards Oceane Asham and Danika Botterill are both Portage products and were very happy to represent their province in front of their hometown. Asham says it was great to have her family in attendance for the experience.
"It was nice, my family was able to come to watch, and my dad (Arron Asham) actually flew down and surprised me," says Asham. "It was nice to have my whole family around to be a part of this as well."
As for Botterill, she was also very happy to be able to play in front of her friends and family, however, she says it did put her under a little extra duress.
"It definitely adds a little bit more pressure because more people are coming to watch that you know but you just have to play for yourself and play for your town," Botterill explains. "I just tried to play for everybody out there."
Both players were able to shine during the tournament as Botterill found the back of the net against Alberta, while Asham picked up a pair of goals and added an assist to her totals as well. Botterill notes the game becomes a lot simpler when you play with so many amazing players.
"It's super awesome to be able to play with someone who's just as good as you or even better," says Botterill. "We all connected and everything was very fast-paced."
While Team Manitoba, unfortunately, finished fourth in the tournament, Asham says taking part in an event like this is something to be grateful for, win or lose.
"Honestly, it's such a surreal feeling. It's such an honour to wear the 'M' especially, with a few girls I played with before. It's nice to have my teammates by my side as well, supporting me," Asham says.
Botterill will now head back to the Central Plains Capitals of the MFHL, where she places fourth in the league in goals with six. As for Asham, she will return to Balmoral Hall prep in Winnipeg, where she scored 11 goals last season.