Lenz faithful to chosen Rath

ANGELA MACISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:57 PM ET

There's no switching colours for Pam Lenz. Growing up in Bentley, Lenz had a choice between playing ringette in Calgary or Edmonton.

She chose Calgary and, although she's getting her elementary education degree at U of A in Edmonton, Lenz remains faithful to her Calgary Rath.

"There's no way," Lenz said of swapping yesterday, after her Rath got pummeled 6-1 by the Manitoba Stealth at the Village Square arena. "I've been with this team for four years. (Edmonton) has been my rival and it would be hard to do the switch."

The 22-year-old helps form a core of youngsters building the Rath, which is forging its way through the National Ringette League's inaugural season.

Holding a 7-6 record and fourth spot in the West Division standings prior to this weekend's Esso Golden Ring tournament, the Rath still tends to struggle against some of the top teams in the league.

"We lost to (the Stealth) in Regina as well, so we're getting used to losing to them," said head coach Steve Hutchison.

"It would be a gift if we beat them and we didn't get that gift today."

The Rath started the tournament off right, beating the B.C. Reign 4-0, but the West Division-leading Stealth (11-2) controlled the play from the get-go.

Scoring opportunities were at a premium, although Lenz and Rath captain Lisa Brown did their best down low against goalie Jamie Penner.

But Lenz said the team is on the right track.

"We were just talking in the dressing room about what we can all do better, what we can do a better job of to beat a team like that," she said.

"We won't meet that team again unless we go to nationals so our focus is on the other teams we play. But we need to do the fundamentals well. We're strong defensively and, if we stick to that, the rest will come."

The Rath faces its arch-rival, the Edmonton Wam, at 2:45 p.m. today on the East Twin Red rink at Crowchild Twin arenas.

Hutchison wants to see improved passing for the rest of the weekend.

"We had trouble picking up the passes (against the Stealth) and too many unforced errors, where we gave the ring back to them," he said.

"We need to play a possession game where we have the ring and not them. The team with the ring scores more goals, nine times out of 10."


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