SPORTS

Thunderbirds building toward future

By ALEX SPONSELLER
Posted 1/27/21

By ALEX SPONSELLER The Cranston/East Greenwich girls hockey co-op dropped the puck on its season this past weekend, falling to Mount St. Charles 4-1 then La Salle 8-0. The Thunderbirds bring a young roster into the season and will be relying heavily on

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SPORTS

Thunderbirds building toward future

Posted

By ALEX SPONSELLER The Cranston/East Greenwich girls hockey co-op dropped the puck on its season this past weekend, falling to Mount St. Charles 4-1 then La Salle 8-0.

The Thunderbirds bring a young roster into the season and will be relying heavily on their returning core of players.

“We’re young, we are who we are. We are young and inexperienced, but we have girls that like to play hockey. We have a few girls with some good knowledge and skill, girls like Mia Schenenga, Davin Phinney, Olivia Santurri and Ireleigh Bucci who are our senior captains. We don’t have a lot of experience, but they go out there and compete and have fun. That’s what makes them fun to coach,” said coach PJ Bessette.

As the team gets ready to tackle a tough schedule ahead, Bessette and his staff are looking to see the girls improve each week and learn the game inside and out as they build for the future.

“Our first lines are our girls that know the game and the girls behind them are picking it up, but they go out there and try. We just want (to teach them) the game and to have that knowledge. They can skate, but the things like knowing where to be on the ice, staying on your point, not chasing wingers. Those are the things that they are learning. The goal is to integrate them from being a novice to being able to go into a game situation and execute,” said Bessette.

Bessette has also appreciated the older girls stepping up as leaders and allowing him and the other coaches to devote more time to getting the younger skaters up to speed.

“They are like extra coaches on the ice for us. They help the girls out showing them where to be, showing them different drills. It helps us be able to concentrate on everyone,” said Bessette, who is also excited to welcome two high-caliber freshmen to the mix as well. “We also are lucky to have two freshmen that have playing experience, Lyric Watts and Braelyn King who both play for the Sting. They’re both Cranston West girls, great athletes. Hayley Davis also saved us last year and gave it a try and now she's here this year. She does everything we ask.”

In a year that was uncertain to begin, the Thunderbirds are looking to make the most of this rebuilding season and Bessette is excited to see the progress it makes.

“They come every day to practice ready to learn, and that’s all you ask from them as a coach,” Bessette said. “This is a great group of girls, we only have 14 girls on the roster, which makes it fun. We have a small group that get along well and love the game.”

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