The Palmerston Terminators Juvenile Girls broomball team will be headed west to take their shot at a national championship this spring.
The Terminators earned the right to compete in the national broomball championship tournament for their age level, March 24 – 27 in Regina, Saskatchewan, by finishing in the top three at a qualifying tournament in Stroud (near Barrie), in November. Defending national champs, Ottawa Seaway, were the only team to beat the Palmerston squad at the qualifier, and with Seaway automatically in the nationals, the Terminators grabbed one of two open spots. Another Ottawa area team also qualified for the Regina event.
While they lost both games they played with Seaway in Stroud, Terminators, coach Tony Verbeek notes the Ottawa team played with 20 runners, while Palmerston had only 12. Despite the short bench, the first loss was a 1-0 game, while the second match, played after a tired Terminator team knew they would be advancing, was also close until the last few minutes. Palmerston also plays with two players who are, at 15, under the regular age range (16-19) for juvenile broomball.
Playing short-staffed won’t be a problem at the nationals, said Verbeek, as the team is allowed pickup extra players from other Ontario teams to fill out their roster.
Palmerston clinched their spot in Regina with a 2-1 win over a Windsor team in double-overtime in their fifth game. It was an emotional win, says Verbeek, who adds that there were tears flowing in the lobby following the victory.
Verbeek also coaches a senior ladies broomball team, which, earlier this year, qualified to play in a national championship in Newfoundland in April. His daughter, Charlotte plays on the senior team and helps him coach the Terminators. They’ll both log plenty of miles this spring, along with Terminators assistant coach Christine Fortney, who also plays on Verbeek’s senior team.
Between now and March, the Terminators will be busy fundraising to help cover the $1,000 per person cost of the trip. The group will be looking for sponsors and are also planning to hold a number of fundraising events. Anyone wishing to make a contribution toward the team’s trip to the nationals may contact Verbeek at 519 291-2501