You work hard. You get to dry land workout on time and push even when you are out of gas. You practice on the patio at home. You schedule in that extra lesson. You hope and dream. You work hard. You make those long drives to the rink. You stay up late to finish homework. You make friends... maybe lifelong friends. You inspire each other and are inspired by others. Teammates. You struggle; you lift each other UP; you battle to the end. Sisters on the ice. You compete together, overcome obstacles together, strive together, achieve together.
You are 2018 Pacific District Champions!!
The idea that every little step and increment along the way matters makes it all worth it. Player development is a PROCESS... it is a marathon, not a sprint where each player must put their best effort forth, then link together with others to create a TEAM. As the Mama of all Lady Ducks, I am so VERY PROUD of you all! You absolutely crushed it!!!
You have set a record with 5 Lady Ducks Girls' teams heading to USAHockey Nationals, April, 5-9. We will have 6 teams in all, with the LD Women C, playing as well. (Go Old Gals!!) It is truly going to be a sight to see as the Little Club from the West, Sweeps their divisions and invades Boston, MA.
I cannot tell you the odds against All Teams Winning. Puck Luck. Goofy deflections. Those shifts after goals... It is simply the nature of the game that you cannot possibly win ALL FOUR FINALS. More importantly... the Lady Ducks may win AAA but HOW DO THEY WIN the AA, ALSO??? We know that most other clubs don't have a AAA, so their AA's have power, depth and strength. Yet, you persisted.
YOU DID IT! Lady Ducks won EVERY division entered. A SWEEP. A jaw-dropping, Tear-jerking SWEEP!
It was so exciting to witness... our 14AA... the Team that COULD!!... overcame nerves and a goofy first game loss to run the table straight thru to Victory! I hugged and cried and hugged some more. Parents and players alike, are SO EXCITED. Then, running from rink to rink to rink... 3 games at the same time... OMG!! The 16AA team was simply dominant; business-like; relentless. It was a joy to see the parental support, the corner glass commentary :) , the atmosphere and moreover the camaraderie among this group. Phenomenal. You truly exemplify the Lady Ducks... you showed how the Will to Win was backed up by the Will to Prepare to win.
14AAA and 16AAA had a few challenges but persevered and made the best of some bad bounces early on in your 2 out of 3 series, creating another year of Pacific Champs! The LD have taken the last 10 Pac District 14AAA championships! You completely outshot your opponent but HOW did those pinball pucks go in?? Well, you left NO DOUBT in game three. And, the streak goes on... 16AAA... What an absolutely riveting final. 9.6 seconds left.... Noooo!!! Going into Overtime... tied 1-1. But you dominated the OT, you were RELENTLESS and skilled and on the attack. It was so classic to see the low shot "pass off pads", a rebound and the Center Lane Drive burying the Golden Goal. I just got the chills, again.
When I look at the 70 or so girls at the Pacific District Championships representing LD on the ice this past weekend I see players who were in Learn to Play or LD clinics a few years ago, not knowing much at all. I see 8-9 year LD veterans who went from clueless 8u players to elite champions! I see roller hockey players who have transitioned to the ice and paved their path to a bright future. I see young women who are LD Rookies or those who DRIVE from SD, Vegas, Florida, Mammoth, etc... ) and have joined this group to play an integral part in the depth and continued success of this LD Family. It is an amazing amalgamation of Heart, Sacrifice, Passion and Relentless pursuit of excellence.
You did it Lady Ducks! You set a record. There will be Lady Ducks EVERYWHERE in Boston. SIX teams in all. Our 19AAA team competed around North America yet went unopposed in Pacific, earning many big wins and a powerful USAHockey ranking. I look forward to watching this team in action as many of these college commits compete at the highest level before heading off to school.
Thank you to our supportive parents who drive, wait, feed and empty their pockets for the dreams of these girls! Your sincere desire to see your child reach their dreams goes without saying. Thank you, to our families, coaching staff and team managers who have dealt with a chaotic practice schedule and readied these teams for Victory! It takes a village to raise a player, a team, a program and I cannot wait to see you all play in Marlboro, MA!!
p.s. we are really looking forward to the IRVINE ICE opening in November and our LD Older AAA locker room. We are hosting AAA Nationals next season and look forward to this amazing experience in our home rink!