Twins off the team

ROCHELLE SQUIRES and ADAM CLAYTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:46 AM ET

In the end, they didn't make the cut.

After a very public battle for the right to play on a boys' hockey team, identical twins Amy and Jesse Pasternak privately mourned their loss yesterday.

Their father Wally spoke for them.

"I applaud their courage for even going and trying out," he said from the doorstep of his family's home last night.

The Grade 12 girls learned late yesterday afternoon they were among 13 students who failed to make the high school team's 18-member roster for the 2006-07 season.

They left the West Kildonan rink, faces flushed, and refused to speak to reporters.

The school division announced the coaching team's decision a few hours later.

STRENGTH AND COURAGE

"West Kildonan Collegiate and Seven Oaks School Division salute Amy and Jesse Pasternak for the strength and courage they displayed in asserting their right to try out for the team," said the written statement.

"They should not have been denied that opportunity on the basis of their gender."

There was no further comment from the division.

Wally Pasternak said his daughters figured they basically had "no hope in hell" of making the team, but were still upset they didn't make it.

"They're a little bit devastated, but can you blame them?" he said.

Last Friday, the girls were buoyed by a winning ruling from the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, whose adjudicator overruled the Manitoba High School Athletics Association (MHSAA) and said they were discriminated against when they weren't allowed to try out for the boys' team even though a girls' team existed.

The controversial ruling captured the attention of a hockey-loving nation.

It also compelled at least six boys in Manitoba to push for an opportunity to play on a girls' athletic team.

Morris Glimcher, executive director at the MHSAA, said he's still considering an appeal of the ruling and the coaches' decision to cut the Pasternaks doesn't change his opinion.

"(The sisters) had an opportunity, they got what they wanted, and now they can look at other opportunities to play elsewhere," he said. "I'm certainly not gloating."

The twins did not play hockey in the two years since the MHSAA first rejected their attempt to join the boys' school team in Grade 10.

Wally Pasternak said at this point his daughters have no plans to play hockey elsewhere.


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