As the players of the Atlantic Attack have quickly come to realize, being a part of the National Ringette League and playing for the first team to ever come out of the Maritimes, means a lot more than lacing up the skates and competing. The young and old alike have caught ‘Attack Fever’ and it is showing no signs of slowing down as each game brings more fans to the rink and longer post-game autograph sessions. As the community support continues to surge, the Atlantic Attack players and committee have begun to realize the true impact this team has had on the ringette community and the generations of younger players. They now have someone locally to look up to; star players that will help determine their future in the sport; role models who they dream of one day becoming themselves. Thus far, this season has been filled with moments of amazement, which three of the Attack players have gladly agreed to share:
My absolute “wow” moment was at the games vs. Lac St. Louis in Fredericton. As I was leaving the arena, I was getting in the car with my mom when I saw a little girl getting out of her van running toward me. To my surprise, this young girl was looking to meet with me, not only as a NRL player, but as an admirer. When her mother stepped out of the vehicle, I then realized that this little girl used to be my next door neighbor and I babysit her when she was only 2 years old. Alissa was asked to join a ringette team this year by one of her friends. She tried it and really enjoyed it. This is how I started playing ringette. The fact that she was looking for my autograph was special not only because she was looking up to me as a NRL player but also as a local player who was her old babysitter. The hug was intense and brought a lot of good memories! -Stéphanie Robichaud, Atlantic Attack defence
A little girl I know bought our team cards and taped them all over her school agenda and constantly shows her friends the autographs she got. She thinks it is the greatest thing that she was able to meet NRL players. It is just amazing seeing the lineups of girls wanting our autographs… it is absolutely surreal. Getting asked to talk to teams prior to tournament games and teaching camps is really rewarding as well! -Jocelyne Landry, Atlantic Attack forward
One night a father and his young daughter arrived at our door asking for me. Unfortunately, I was not home. My dad told me the little girl had my player card in hand and was looking to meet me and to get my autograph. I was so touched. Additionally, I sold my old goalie pads to another little girl. She asked me to sign them. I saw her recently and she was really excited to tell me that she had improved her game with my old goalie pads. It really made me feel that we are making a difference for young ringette players. -Jasmine Leblanc, Atlantic Attack goaltender
Arguably one of the best things to happen to ringette in New Brunswick -the province in which the team is based- can begin to wonder and dream what the effect of this team will be on the numbers and level of players who now may come out of the region for years to come. As the second half of the NRL season is set to begin, players and fans are ready to continue their journey to more incredible memories and ‘wow’ moments.