It's been well over a decade since Brennan iced a girls hockey team to compete in the WECSSAA league. "As far as I know it's probably late 2009, 2010." said Jim Kittl spearheaded the return of Cardinals hockey when the league opened last week. "They've had teams for Zakoor Cup three times but they only played exhibition games so there hasn't been a WECSSAA team for somewhere between 10-13 years."
In his first year at Brennan, Kittl didn't hesitate to revive the program when two grade 11's approached him hoping he would consider. "They're like 'sir we heard you're a hockey coach. We want to start a team at Brennan. If I had 10 I'd make it work. They came back with 13 on the list."
Hailey Munro has been asking to have a school team since grade 9 but was let down because of a shortage of players or no one was available to coach. The stars finally aligned this year for her and others who desperately wanted to play. "We were originally just gonna have nine players plus a goalie but we got some other girls reaching out. Ya, they never played before but at least they're trying."
Sophia Lyons is trying to be a goaltender for the first time. Playing since the age of eight, Lyons strapped on the pads for the third time this season Monday in Amherstburg. Despite losing 5-1 Lyons held the much faster North Star Wolves at bay. "It's been good. I like it." said the grade 11 starter. "We haven't won but I can see how we're improving as a team and it's really great be a part of that."
For Kittl, coaching the Cardinals has been one of the most rewarding experiences he's had in his coaching career. "To watch the three of four who have never played any hockey and then the three or four that have never any league hockey get into this game and grow to love it. That's how we grow the sport." said Kittl who also praised those with travel hockey experience. "They're being asked to do some different things here like to play more defensively and all of them have bought in. It's a great bunch of girls."
The Cardinals are 0-3 in the A/AA Varsity Girls division. Their next game is scheduled for December 12th at Central Park Athletics against Lajeunesse.