Under the coaching of Scott Sheldon, Dr. Ted Barton, assistant coach Dohn Cho, and goalie coach Ward Bishop, the Ice Hawks with 13-year-old Samantha Morse tending goal shut out the Anaheim Lady Ducks 3-0 in the first game of the Pacific District Girls Hockey Championship last week in Fairbanks, Alaska.
The Dispatch talked with coach Barton last week at a Kenai practice who was eager to get the word out about his Tier II girls hockey team, "I got into coaching about ten years ago when one of my team mates on the Rusty Blades asked me to coach a Squirt team because they had no applicants so I stepped up and really got into it and have been coaching every year since then," said Dr. Barton. "My interest in the Tier II girls came about when my daughter Lottie Barton who started out figure skating and got tired of it when she was about 7 or 8 and I suggested she give hockey a try and she said 'Nah!' but I asked if she would just do it once for dad and she said 'Yah okay' and after trying it she liked it and kept up with it at the KPHA until she went to high school and played a bit at SoHi, but her main interest was in playing all girls hockey and at that time there wasn't an all girl team on the Peninsula and we had to go to Anchorage to play, but that opened quite a few doors for her team won the Pacific Regional Tournament that year and went on to the national tournament with Team Alaska and traveled to Connecticut and played in the prestigious Polar Bear Tournament which was attended by numerous college and prep school scouts and ended up being recruited by Brewster Academy in New Hampshire where she continued to play in a girls league and next year she will be playing Division III hockey at Wesleyan University and that explains why I like to do this because I've seen the opportunity that's available for these girls who want to work hard and be serious about girls hockey and of course now having the Ice Hawks here provides those opportunities to girls in our local area," said Barton.
According to Barton to get that type of exposure girls need to be on an all girls team, "It's exciting that we have the number of girls here to put this team together a U-14 team of 15 girls and a goalie we even have some 11 and 12-year-olds on the team, but they compete very, very well," he said. In Fairbanks the Ice Hawks will compete against Tier II teams from California, Washington, and Alaska.
If the Ice Hawks bring home the regional championship they will be bound for the national competition in April in Massachusetts. Barton says he hopes the interest in girl's hockey will grow and that a younger U-12 team may be organized next year. You can learn more and follow the Ice Hawks by going to the KPHA website at www.kpha.net .