Wildfire: Just wait til next year!

The Waterloo Wildfire of the National Ringette League completed their most successful season ever in the team’s five-year history last Friday at the Canadian National Ringette Championships in Charlottetown PEI. Although they lost 5-4 in overtime to Rive Sud Revolution in the NRL Championship Consolation final, it was a season of firsts for the Waterloo squad.
 
It was the first time the Wildfire has made the playoffs, ending the season with an all time high of 38 points, good for second place in the Southern Ontario Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference and a 7th place ranking nationally among the 18 NRL teams. From there they went on to win their first ever playoff series against the Gloucester Devils and their very first berth in the NRL Championship.
 
At Nationals, "The Wildire were in every game they played" boasts team GM Gerry Kraemer. The team ended the tournament with a 3-3-1 record, defeating an Atlantic allstar squad, Quebec City Cyclones and Rive Sud by a resounding 10-4 count before their encounter with the same team in the consolation final.
 
Waterloo lost by just one goal in the last minute to 4th place Calgary RATH in their first game, bowed 2-0 to the Ottawa Ice, having had three goals disallowed, and put a scare into the eventual gold medal winning Cambridge Turbos by coming back from a 6-0 deficit after 12 minutes with four consecutive goals before losing momentum with a couple of empty net goals against with the goalie out to try to get closer in the final minutes.
 
With the majority of the players and bench staff set to return next season and with Team Canada bench staff interested in 3 or 4 Wildfire players as well as the fact that Waterloo will have the third pick in each round of this summer’s entry draft by the four teams in Soutern Ontario, the future indeed is bright.
 
The team is so enthusiatic that not even a night sleeping in the Halifax Airport dimmed their spirits. The Wildfire’s flight home Sunday from Moncton NB was cancelled due to an Atlantic snowstorm and the team was shuttled to Halifax to catch an early Monday morning flight back to Toronto.
 
The Wildfire will hold their season wrapup celebration on April 25 at which time the seven team award winners will be announced. The Wildfire would like to thank all the local fans and the media for their support over the past season. "Just wait until next year", many of the players are saying as they set their sights on Saskatoon, site of the 2010 NRL Championship.