Ravens relentless in pursuit of success

By Don Fennell

Published 4:00 PDT, Mon October 28, 2019

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

Richmond Ravens left last year’s Rep Classic with a bad taste in their mouths.

That made them even more determined not to experience the same fate this year.

Reflecting the relentless work ethic that has epitomized their play game in and game out, the Ravens managed a hard-earned 1-0 overtime win over St. Albert (Alberta) Sunday to earn the Midget Division title at the 2019 Richmond female hockey tournament. It was the third time the hosts have netted top spot in the event’s seven-year history.

“This is the best start we’ve ever had in 14 years, and it’s all to do with how hard the girls work,” says head coach AJ Sander, who has been at helm since the club was founded. “Our biggest asset is our work ethic. We have the skill and everything, but their work ethic is phenomenal in every game. We consistently outwork teams, but the scores don’t show that.”

Then there’s the focus, integral in any team’s success.

In an intense game like that against St. Albert, where every shift and move is increasingly magnified as the game advances, goaltender Anna May stood tall. While she may not have faced nearly the number of shots as her rival at the other end did, she was no less impressive.

“When teams are getting chances, like St. Albert did, they are usually scoring chances, and our goalies have had to come up big. Anna made saves at the right time,” says Sander.

Sticking to their game plan, and demonstrating the speed that has also come to be a trademark, the Ravens were eventually rewarded when Julia Farkasch (the team’s lone graduating player this season) was able to score the winning goal following a pass from Annalise Wong.

American-born, Farkasch impressed with the U.S. development program over the summer, Sander noted.

The Ravens’ dedication this weekend was matched only by that of tournament organizers.

Faced with a power outage that wiped out much of Friday’s opening-day schedule, John Korenic and his team were able—with the assistance of city managers Steve Mahon and Will Kump—to make up those games Sunday. As a result, all the participating teams got the full slate of games they were promised.

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