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Girls show guys how it’s done on ice

March 14, 2011
By Matt Wellens Journal Sports Editor

I'm not going to lie.

Sitting on my couch, taking in hours and hours of college basketball and chucking dog toys into the kitchen for my dog, Roxie, to chase while sipping on some cans of KBC is not a bad weekend.

It's not what I expected to be doing, however, during the second weekend in March.

What's a hockey writer to do, however, when there are no hockey teams left to cover?

Northern Michigan University - upset in the first-round of the CCHA playoffs.

Marquette Senior High School - upset by Kingsford in a MHSAA pre-regional.

Marquette Electricians - bounced in the first round of NLHL playoffs.

Raise your hand if you had all three of those scenarios playing out last week. Now put your hand down because no one likes a lier or gloater.

The Electricians' early exit may have been predicted this year, but the Redmen and Wildcats have been staples in their respective postseason tournaments.

MSHS is a regular in the state's final four while NMU has made trips to Detroit's Joe Louis Arena for the CCHA championships seven of the previous eight seasons under head coach Walt Kyle.

There is one high-level team, however, still playing in the month of March.

That team is a bunch of girls, literally. I'm not trying to rip one of our local teams, but talking about the Marquette Advantedge Training 19U girls hockey team, who recently won a MAHA Tier II 19U state hockey title.

The Advantedge girls, coached by former NMU women's club hockey player Laura Amenson, only trailed once the entire weekend in Grand Rapids and that was 1-0 to Gladwin in the opener before pounding the G-Force, 4-1.

After that, the only rallying the girls did was to the trash can while battling the flu bug during the championship.

The fight and grit displayed by the group of 19 and under girls that hail from Upper Peninsula colleges, high schools and even middle schools appeared to be lacking with some of Marquette's premier hockey programs this season.

The Redmen and Wildcats have no business joining me this weekend on the couch watching hoops with all the talent they possess. We all should be at the rink right now, but we're not.

Maybe MSHS and NMU took their postseason success in the past for granted. I know I did, as this week was all planned out with how I would balance covering two squads with a reporter on vacation. Let's just say it involved very little sleep.

The Advantedge girls haven't had that same luxury as the boys, despite their success over the years. USA Hockey just recently started hosting a Tier II girls 19U national tournament.

The local gals take off for Anaheim, Calif. at the end of the month. We hope they bring back more than just a nice tan and some Mickey Mouse ears from Disneyland.

It's up to the Marquette Advantedge Training 19U girls hockey team to do what the guys failed to do this year: show the rest of the country what U.P. hockey is all about.

Don't settle for an early exit, bring home some hardware and please, show the boys how it's done.

Matt Wellens can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His e-mail address is



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