This article was published in the Feb. 16 edition of the Revelstoke Review. This week’s edition of the paper is out Minor Hockey Feature, with stories and photos from everything young Revelstokians are doing at the rink.
Female hockey is thriving in Revelstoke.
The Stoked Cubs minor hockey program, run by Stephanie Miller, continues to provide opportunities for girls in the community who want to get involved in hockey.
Since the program’s humble beginnings last season, it has blossomed into three programs – U5, U7, and U11 – to get young girls into playing hockey.
Last season, Stoked Cubs had 22 members. This year, they’ve nearly doubled in size, boasting a membership of 39 girls, and Miller expects that number to grow even further next season.
Miller has been teaching women and girls of all ages how to play hockey since she moved to Revelstoke in 2015.
In November, the Stoked Cubs hosted their first-ever tournament in Revelstoke.
“It was magical,” said Miller about the support the program received from the community during their first-ever tournament on home ice.
“We ended up losing every game in the tournament, not that we care about losing at all, we just had so much fun and that’s all that mattered, and that’s kind of how we’ve continued it.”
Then, in early February, the Stoked Cubs travelled to Salmon Arm to take part in a tournament.
They went undefeated.
“Everything just clicked,” said Miller. “They knew to spread out and two players on the puck, and the girls who have just started this September, who could barely stand on their skates, they were just incredible this game.”
The Cubs came up against teams from Kelowna, Vernon, Kamloops, and Prince George.
“I think we opened some eyes that Revelstoke is starting to have a female program that’s going to be a bit more, I don’t want to say serious, but there’s some competition and the girls all seem to be super into it,” added Miller.
The Stoked Cubs also entered into the Grizzly Program this year which is run by the Revelstoke Grizzlies.
Grizzlies’ coaches and players come out to the rink every other practice to help teach the girls skills and fundamentals alongside their team coaches.
Miller hopes to grow the program even further going forward, as she is looking to start a summer camp for girls interested in hockey this summer. Besides seeing the girls grow as hockey players, Miller said the most rewarding part of her role as coach of the Cubs is watching the group become close friends. “They’re all best friends now, it’s super special.
“They’re just having so much fun and it’s honestly the most beautiful thing that I’ve ever seen.”