Brian Timmerman gathered his team at the blue-line following the game. He told them they have nothing to be ashamed of.
ALBERTA 6 MANITOBA 2
"Hold your heads up high, wear the silver medal proudly because there were only two teams playing from all of Canada in this age group -- and you're one of them," the Manitoba head coach revealed about what he told his girls after they lost 6-2 to a strong Alberta club in the belle division final of the 2005 Canadian Ringette Championships yesterday afternoon.
Alberta was the only team Manitoba lost to in the six-day event, dropping a 3-2 decision during round-robin play earlier in the week.
"They worked so hard to get here," he continued. "This is a team that always played with heart and it wasn't any different (yesterday)."
The more than 800 people in attendance at the Max Bell Arena didn't even have a chance to get comfortable before Alberta jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game.
Two goals from forward Victoria Russell, and singles from Jennifer Hartley, Marie Eve D'Aoust, and Jillian LaFrance gave Alberta the early advantage. Manitoba couldn't overcome the deficit.
"We were a little nervous, and Alberta got the good breaks right off the bat," a tearful Ainsley Ferguson said afterward. "We'll get 'em next year."
Manitoba got goals from Chelsea Braun and Kayla Krentz.
The home side controlled most of the play in the second half but couldn't find the same breaks Alberta had in the first 20 minutes.
A couple posts, a cross-bar, and a disallowed goal on a Ferguson breakaway early in the half made it evident that it simply wasn't Manitoba's day.
"That goal could have got it going for us," Ferguson said. "We definitely outplayed them in the second."
The belle provincial champs (also known by their club team name, the APFG Sixers) were the lone bright spot for the province during the championship.
With the other Manitoba teams in the stands watching them play, the girls recognize their accomplishment.
Should they qualify as provincial champs and return to the CRC in Longueuil, Que., next year, they will have 15 of the 17 players back.
Which bodes well for this group.
"We have to have pride that we got to the gold-medal game and out of six Manitoba teams, we're the only ones to medal," forward Christine Delisle said. "It's a lot harder to lose the silver ... or to get the silver. What can I say? It's a long road, we played well, and we came out.
"It just didn't come to us in the end."
Alberta's title wasn't the only one claimed yesterday.
In the junior final, Quebec beat Alberta 4-3, while in the open division, Alberta beat Ontario 8-4.
BUFFALO STARS: First and second team all-stars were announced yesterday, with a few local players picking up spots.
Defenceman Jessica Simpson (Manitoba) was named to the belle division first-team, while forwards Ferguson and Delisle were chosen for the second team.
Trish Mykietowich (defence, host team) was selected to the second team in the junior division.