February 23 to March 10, 2021 ribbon Canada Winter Games 2007
Ringette Rings in the Games
2007, March 5th:

Ringette competition has finished up here at the Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse. Ontario will go home with gold, Alberta with silver and Quebec with bronze.

In the gold medal game, Ontario posted a 9-2 win over Alberta. The score surprised many in the stands as it was anticipated that the game would be much closer. Ontario opened the scoring in the first period with two goals and widened their lead in the second period with another five goals. Deanna Dadalt picked up three of the goals and Rouse picked up two. Assists came from Ashley Rheaume, Cote, Johnston, Kaitlyn Youldon, Kelly, and Elyssa Jasper. Jennifer Hartley posted Alberta's second goal, assisted by Tatum Wensink. Alberta goalies Bobbi Mattson and Melanie Rees faced 34 shots on goal, while Meghan Pittaway faced 36 shots for Ontario.

This is the third Canada Winter Game gold medal win for Ontario, as the team also won gold in 2003 and 1999. Alberta improved their standings this year, after picking up fourth place in 2003.

When Manitoba and Quebec matched up for bronze, Quebec downed Manitoba 2-1, with the entire scoring taking place in the first period. Katherine Groulx opened the scoring for Quebec, assisted by Jessica Pepper. Manitoba responded with one by Kylie Friesen, assisted by Kayla Krentz and Chantal Freynet. Karyna Dallaire sunk in the winning goal, assisted by Pepper. Quebec goalie Catherine Gautier faced 33 shots on goal and Manitoba goalie Stephanie Swynar faced 31 shots.

At the 2003 Canada Winter Games, Quebec placed fifth and Manitoba placed second.

From the get-go of the Games, ringette and its athletes were contributing to a first week of high level sport and Games fever. 

On Friday afternoon, the ring was on the rink as part of the first competition of the Games. The next day, four of the flag bearers at the Opening Ceremonies were ringette players:  Rebecca Kerr (Team Nova Scotia); Jennifer Hartley (Team Alberta); Natasha Côté (Team Ontario); and, Bobbi-Jo Blandford (Team Saskatchewan).  

"Ringette has always been part of my life," said Kerr. "My grandfather brought the game to Nova Scotia and my dad was a coach. And now, I'm in it, too."  

Not well known in the North – only the Northwest Territories has teams registered – the same is certainly not true in other parts of the country. 

Ringette players have been getting their parents out of bed early on weekend mornings since 1963. Sam Jacks of North Bay, ON -- also the inventor of floor hockey -- brought the game to the world, as a winter team sport for girls.  

Often referred to as hockey for girls, the two games have few similarities other than that they are both played on an ice rink. The differences between the two go beyond replacing a straight stick for a stick with a blade and a ring for a puck.  

"If you know hockey, you know the games are very different," said Alayne Martell-Crocker, Sport Information Officer for Ringette at the Games. 

A fast-paced game at its beginnings, the game accelerated in 2000, when a 30-second stop clock was introduced to speed things up. A team with possession of the ring has but 30 seconds to shoot before a buzzer relinquishes possession to the opposing team.

As such, the players must be well tuned in to each other and work the collective strength to keep up. 

"Our team chemistry is great!" said Team Ontario centre, Natasha Côté on Sunday. "We're going all the way – or at least we plan to …!" 

And all the way Team Ontario went. Ontario and Alberta vyed for the top spot and Manitoba and Quebec fought it out for bronze.