Back in ‘Black’
Mackey, Black Bandits ready to defend Eastern Canadian crown
The Home Hardware Black Bandits of Clarenville will attempt to defend its 2011 Eastern Canadian Ball Hockey Champi - ons h i p t i t le when the 2012 event kicks off July 27.
Glovertown’s Angela Mackey was a member of the 2011 Eastern Canadian champions, and has returned to the fold for the 2012 tourney.
The prolific goal scorer finished with a goal and two assists in last year’s event, and she plans to add to those totals at this year’s event, which runs July 27-29.
“I think my role is the same,” said Mackey. “I’m expected to bring my energy and high level of competition to the team, and play the best I can.”
The 2011 version of the Black Bandits won the Eastern Canadian title with a 3-2 win over the Chatham Coyotes.
The experience of winning that title will certainly pay dividends for Mackey, who rarely gets an opportunity to compete in such a high-level ball hockey tournament.
“The competition in Montreal will be a lot different than what I’m used to seeing in high school ball hockey. It’s a lot more intense and the competition is harder,” said Mackey. “We play on a rink surface instead of in a school gym, so it is totally different than high school ball hockey.”
In saying that, Mackey is confident the Clarenville-based team has a strong chance to medal because of the amount of skill and dedication that’s on the roster, and because of their strong preparation.
“I feel like we are heading to Montreal as the best team we can be,” said the left-winger. “Our team is based in Clarenville, but there are players from oth e r a reas oth er than Clarenville. Tom Walsh, our head coach, contacted me a few years ago and asked me if I wanted to play. The team is a bunch of girls that have known each other for a whi le through ice hockey and other sports.”
Other than helping the Black Bandits win its 2011 Eastern Canadian and provincial titles, Mackey also helped the squad to the 2012 provincial title, which gave the team the right to compete at this year’s Eastern Canadian extravaganza.
However, since the team consists of players from across the island, finding time to fine-tune their skills as a team has been challenging.
“Practices are hard to get to, as everyone has different work schedules,” said Mackey. “So, if we can’t make practices, it’s our responsibility to keep fit and be ready to play on game day.”
And when the team hits the floor in Montreal, Mackey said it’s their diverse skill level that will lead them to a medal.
Everybody brings something different to the fold, and according to the past two years, that diverse mix of skill has been paying off for the Black Bandits.
“A huge strength of the team is the variety of skills that each individual carries. Everyone has their job and we all do it well,” said Mackey. “We have a great all-round team. For example, we have girls who are the goal scorers, girls who play the power play, and girls who are strong on the backend. I think we are successful because we are all passionate about it and we are all committed to doing what it takes to be successful.
“I am so excited to be heading to Montreal. This is what I look forward to in the summer. I have such a great time with my team and we always have so much fun.”
The Black Bandits begin its title defence July 27 against the Coyotes de Lanaudiere, and later that day against the Vanier Sonics. The Newfoundland and Labrador team will play the St. John Thundercats and St. John Eagles on July 28, and finish its round-robin schedule with a tilt against the Vanier Wild on July 29.
“Look out Montreal,” said Mackey. “The Newfoundlanders are coming!”
BLAC K B A N D I T — Glovertown’s Angela Mackey,