Jaydlin Spooner (Campbell River, BC) of the Vancouver Island Seals played in net for a different team over the weekend – the Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL). Spooner helped backstop the Storm to a 6-3 win, as she became one of the first females to play in the VIJHL.
The Storm are one (1) of the top Junior B teams in the province, claiming the Cyclone Taylor Cup last season. So far this season, they have a 36-8-2 record in 46 games, leading the VIJHL.
After the Storm’s backup goaltender got injured, Spooner sat on the bench during the January 26, 2016 game against the Westshore Wolves and the February 5, 2016 game against the Saanich Braves. She was set to do the same during the February 6, 2016 game against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, but Riley Welyk, the team’s starting goalie, went down with an injury early in the second period. Spooner filled in, playing the remaining 38 minutes. She stopped 11 shots and allowed two (2) goals in the 6-3 win, finishing with an 81.8 save percentage.
After the game, Storm Head Coach Lee Stone said
, “Jaydlin’s obviously worked so hard this year. She’s come out to a bunch of practices and I think for me it’s pretty special. I help coach with the Seals and I see how hard she works and how successful she is at that level, so for her to get the opportunity to come in and not just play, but make some big, big saves in the second period was huge.”
“You could tell the focus was there, she made some big saves early on the breakaways…you could see her confidence growing. It was too cool to see her go in, and not just get the win, but own it.”
Spooner, who currently has a 5-7-2 record with the Seals along with a 0.70 goals against average and three (3) shutouts, practices with the Storm whenever she isn’t on the ice with the Seals. The Seals are currently fourth in the FMAAA with an 11-14-2 record, and have their final weekend of regular season play February 19 – 21 in Prince George against the Northern Capitals. The FMAAA playoffs begin in March.
The FMAAA program consists of six (6) zone-based teams across the province – the Fraser Valley Rush (Langley), Greater Vancouver Comets (Coquitlam), Kootenay Wild (Nelson), Northern Capitals (Prince George), Thompson-Okanagan Lakers (Vernon), and Vancouver Island Seals (Campbell River). The teams play a 30 game regular season, followed by the playoffs. The FMAAA Champion has the opportunity to compete for the ESSO Cup, Hockey Canada's National Female Midget Championship, which will take place in Weyburn, Saskatchewan from April 19 - 25, 2016.
The FMAAA program was initiated in the 2007-2008 season in response to the membership’s desire to provide an opportunity for elite female hockey players to come together on zone teams to challenge other elite female Midget teams. The league has had nearly 100 players move on to post-secondary hockey opportunities.