Montana Wildcats Win Flathead Winter Classic

By Beacon Staff

The Montana Big Sky Wildcats, a top-notch U19 Tier II hockey team of girls from across the state, won the Flathead Winter Classic championship at Woodland Ice Rink on Sunday.

The Wildcats defeated Lethbridge 5-3 on the final day of the nine-team tournament hosted by the Flathead Valley Hockey Association. The team’s next stop is Salt Lake City for the Martin Luther King Girls Hockey Tournament Jan. 14-16. The ultimate prize awaits the girls in Dallas where the U.S. U19 Hockey Championship Tournament takes place March 28-April 1.

The Wildcats feature talented players from across the state, including four locals – Kalispell’s Carolyn Harms, Stephanie Tartaglino and Bridgett Herne and Whitefish’s Janessa Courtney.

Here’s a list of players pictured above after they won the championship last weekend:

Front Row: Goalie Kayleigh Handa (Great Falls), Goalie Carolyn Harms (Kalispell)
Middle Row: Sonja France (Missoula), Tylar Holland (Helena), Brooke Bogart (Spokane), Cassidy McGree (Butte), Julia Michels (Missoula), Janessa Courtney (Whitefish), Catie Etier (Spokane), Dakotta Heacock-Chambers (Missoula)
Back Row: Coach Steve Tartaglino, Stephanie Tartaglino (Kalispell), Claire Kinsey (Missoula), Bridgett Herne (Kalispell), Tyana Rasmusan (Glasgow), Alexia Gagliardi (Missoula), Sawyer Heacock-Chambers (Missoula), Rylee Cygan (Belgrade), Sarah Michels (Missoula), Taryn Francishetti (Billings), Assistant Coach Dick Gagliardi. Not pictured: Berkley Svingen (Glasgow)