HALLOWELL, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - One year ago Gardiner and Winslow High Schools joined forces to form their first ever co-op girls ice hockey team. Winslow already had an established program. Gardiner did not have a team.
"It was kind of messy," said captain Evelyn Hinkley. "We only had a couple of practices a week."
Hinkley is a senior at Gardiner Area High School. When she joined the team last year, the biggest obstacle the Black Tigers had to tackle was bonding as a team.
"It was our first year meeting these girls and stuff and it was very new," said Hinkley. "We held our own and kept it together and had a pretty decent spot going into playoffs."
Last season the Black Tigers made it to the playoffs and even hosted a quarter final game. Previously Winslow hadn't made the post season in four years as an independent program.
"The girls had to become a team in order to make a team in order to work as a team," said Head Coach Alan Veilleux.
With their inaugural season behind them, the Black Tigers are approaching the year with new goals in mind. Rather than focusing on getting to know one another, they have their eyes set on making it to the post season.
"They understand it. They know that if they are going to go their separate ways. If Gardiner is going to do their thing and Winslow is going to do their thing, it is going to be two teams," said Veilleux. "Everything we do is together as a team. I think the girls really accepted it well."
"My expectations are pretty high for this season. Especially because we have a set of new coaches that are really working us hard," said Hinkley. "And we have been with these girls for a year now so we know each other a lot more. It should be a good season."
The Black Tigers have their first game of the season Saturday night where they will face off against St. Dominic Academy at 6:30.