2013-06-13 / Sports

Storm goaltender has her guys’ back

810-452-2615 • rjones@mihomepaper.com

Ella Sinclair watches the puck all the way into her glove during a recent playoff game. Ella Sinclair watches the puck all the way into her glove during a recent playoff game. Goaltender Ella Sinclair sits in the locker room and draws her hair into a French braid. Soon enough, the guys will be watching her every move — and firing their best shots. The thought makes her nerves shimmy ever so slightly. A lot of girls might crack under such pressure. Not Ella.

“If I didn’t see the ponytail coming out from beneath her helmet,” said her coach, Vic Posa of Goodrich. “I would never know any different.”

A few locker rooms down, the guys prepare for battle. But Sinclair sits alone, trying to get into a zone. She focuses on the task ahead, closes her eyes, and replays her best saves in her mind.

“It’s where I was meant to be,” said Sinclair, a freshman at Davison High School who will be trying out for the Midget A Lapeer Storm tonight, June 13, at the Polar Palace in Lapeer.

Sinclair played Tier II boys travel hockey last season for the Bantam AA ‘98 Storm. The Storm went 13-3 in the regular season to win the Howe 3 East division title. Sinclair, a rookie at the travel level, went 8-1 and stopped 158-of-178 shots.

Sinclair has played goalie exclusively for five seasons. She won a Little Caesars house division title and twice made it to the league semifinals while playing out of Ice Mountain in Burton.

Sinclair has generated interest from AAA girls’ teams, who have been scouting her. But at least for the immediate future she plans to stay put.

“The boys have better shots,” Sinclair said. “I like the tougher competition. I get to make a lot of cool saves.”

Sinclair says she’s not afraid, either. At a recent practice she was struck by a puck that hit her facemask and left a mark on her cheek.

“It’s part of the position, part of the game,” she said. “I just get back up and get ready to face another shot.”

Sinclair also plays catcher for Cardinal fast-pitch travel softball out of Davison and she plays junior-varsity softball for Davison high school. But don’t look for her at the high school hockey tryouts just yet.

“David Arterburn is a junior and Rick Gonzalez is a sophomore and they are both really, really good,” Sinclair said of Davison’s two outstanding goaltenders.

Sinclair will be tested tonight. Mites through bantams travel players play exclusively against their birth year or below. Once players reach the midget travel level, they face players in two-year increments. Tonight’s skate will include ‘97s and ‘98s. Sinclair, 14, will be facing boys up to 16-year-old.

“I’ll be ready,” she said.

Details on the tryout: Coach Vic Posa at (810) 614-1673.

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