First goal, first shutout and first win.
The Steinbach Regional Secondary School has recorded a number of memorable highlights since playing game one of their inaugural season in the Winnipeg Women's High School League against the West Kildonan Wolverines back on October 11th.
But that first goal, first shutout and first win took a little while to arrive.
The SRSS began the season with seven straight losses and the Sabres didn't find the back of the net until game eight when Sydney Oulette scored in a 2-1 loss to Murdoch MacKay.
"The attitute was never negative or anything like that," said head coach Kayleigh Henrikson. "As a coaching staff we kept it positive and I think that really rubbed off on the girls as well. After every game we would come into the room and say, 'This is what we improved on this game, let's keep improving.' We just kept building on things we haven't done before and then it eventually paid off and we're getting on the scoreboard a lot more now."
"We've really come together as a team," added Henrikson. "A couple of the girls were new to hockey and as we've progressed, we've seen relationships being formed on and off the ice, and that really strengthens everything on the ice. The girls are understanding where each other is going to be on the ice. We've really worked on coming together as a team and that's really paid off for us in the last little bit."
It was the midway point of the season when Steinbach Regional picked up that elusive first win.
Oulette scored both goals and Jaylnn Miller recorded the shutout as the SRSS defeated the Kildonan East Reivers 2-0 on December 10th at River East Arena.
"They were just having so much fun," said Henrikson. "Myself and the other coach that was with me that day, we were walking back down the tunnel after the game and we both just kind of looked at each other and we were like, 'Well, we weren't expecting to win today but that was absolutely amazing.' The girls were so pumped on the bench. It was kind of like we won the Stanley Cup a little bit. They were so excited and then we really followed that up when we beat Kildonan East again that week."
The Sabres first ever winning streak happened two days later at the T.G. Smith Centre.
Nina Fenton scored in the 17th round of the shootout as the SRSS edged the Reivers 2-1.
"That was absolutely unreal," said the Sabres bench boss. "In my 11 years of coaching, I have never gone to a 17 player shootout. It's usually wrapped up after five or so. We had a lot of close opportunities but Nina finally buried one for us and Jaylnn was absolutely outstanding for us in net."
Miller and captain Kendra Weins will represent Steinbach Regional at the WWHSHL's All-Star Day on January 20th at Bell MTS Iceplex in Winnipeg.
Miller will be playing on the "Jets Team" which is the top players from all three divisions.
Weins will be playing on the "Vets Team" which is the top grade 12 players from all three divisions.
"That is so awesome," said Henrikson. "We are so very proud of them to be able to be representing us there. Both titles are extremely well deserved."
The Sabres, who own a 2-12 record, play their first game of 2019 on January 9th against the Glenlawn Lions at the T.G. Smith Centre.
"We're just going to continue what we're doing," Henrikson said. "We got our defense down, we're starting to get our offense down and now we're starting to work on special teams so we can get our offense to where we want it to be. I'm really looking forward to seeing where we're going to be by the end of 2019 and continuing to build this momentum year after year."