Sampano heading to Canadian Ringette Championships

Manitoba Intact competes against Black Gold Rush in National Ringette League action at the Seven Oaks Arena in Winnipeg, Man., on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. Manitoba eaned a 9-4 victory. Pictured: Intact player Samantha Sampano controls the ring. (Brook Jones/Selkirk Journal/Postmedia Network)

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Sam Sampano is heading east to Charlottetown to compete at the 2019 Canadian Ringette Championships from April 7 to 14.

Sampano, who was born and raised in Selkirk, is a member of Manitoba Intact of the National Ringette League. She will be joined by goaltender Amy Clarkson, who is from St. Andrews and Nicole Desrosiers, who lives in St. Clements.

Sampano said the team’s motto is coast to coast, since Manitoba Intact took on BC Thunder and won the best of three playoff series in order to qualify to

“It was definitely our team’s goal to get to nationals. We really wanted to go. We’ve all played with a lot of pressure in our past and we kind of know how to turn it into energy for us rather than to crack under pressure,” Sampano told The Selkirk Journal on March 28. “We pulled through.”

Sampano noted that there is a lot of talent in the sport of ringette heading to the championships from the east as five teams from eastern Canada will be competing. She also said that three teams will be heading to Charlottetown from the western Canada.

“For Manitoba we still have a very young NRL team. In my opinion, it makes us underdogs and we just really want to get our there and show the east, especially, that we deserve to be there and we’ll be competitive in every single game, I am sure,” she said.

When reflecting back on the 2018-19 season leading up to the Championships, Sampano said that Manitoba Intact developed significantly.

“Just seeing how far we’ve come was huge — just on our offensive control game. Our defence is very strong. All of our defence can play offensively, which can be a huge threat,” she added. “Overall, our offense started working well together and creating goals, which is great and that’s what got us into a national spot.”