The Paris Thunder 18+ ringette team captured gold at the Ontario Open A Championship tournament in Oshawa on Sunday, April 3.
Courtney Boehmer, a native of Paris and a long-time member of the Paris Ringette Association, said that the team’s win was a surreal experience.
“After a rough few years of COVID-19 and being shut down, it made everything so worth it,” she said. “We were battling injuries throughout the weekend but pushed hard right to the finals. We have a lot of talent on our team and knew if we worked together we had a good chance of bringing home the gold.”
The Thunder beat West Ottawa, who were undefeated leading up to the championship game, in overtime to secure the gold.
Boehmer, who plays forward for the Thunder, said that the team’s journey to gold came with difficulties.
“We are strictly a tournament team but due to COVID-19, all the tournaments we planned to enter were cancelled,” she said. “We were lucky enough to enter into a tournament in Ajax last minute to get one tournament under our belt as a team before provincials.”
In pre-COVID times, teams had to qualify for the provincial tournament but with tournaments not running with the everchanging restrictions, any teams that wanted to compete were welcomed.
Boehmer said that the team is made up of players aged everywhere from 19 to 50, and that she is one of just two team members from Paris.
“The majority of our players actually live in the Greater Toronto area, and some are also from London,” she said. “Attendance has been difficult with travel, work, school and life balance. Provincials was the first time all season that we actually had everyone together.”
The provincial championships are the highest level of tournament for the 18+ age division in ringette in Ontario.