Sudbury's Most Complete Local Sports Coverage

Date Published:  May 10, 2009

Medal Count continues to rise for Lady Wolves

Give the Sudbury Lady Wolves girls hockey organization a passing grade at Provincials and then some. More than 50% of the teams from the Nickel City that made the trek to Brampton and Mississauga for the OWHA Championships last weekend returned home with some hardware.

In fact, add in the Bronze medal performances by both the Midget "AA" and Intermediate "A" Lady Wolves earlier this year and the local contingent scores an astounding 70% success rate as seven of the ten rep teams hit the podium this year. When one considers that each of the individual teams would compete at Provincials in groupings of anywhere from 12 to 16 teams, the impressive accomplishment is really put into perspective.

Perhaps the only downside to this year's medal-winning bonanza was that all seven banners scooped up by the Lady Wolves squads were either Silver or Bronze, with no team chalking up that elusive Golden performance, although some were awfully close. Following is a recap of all eight Sudbury teams that competed at the OWHA Provincials from April 17th to 19th.

Novice "B" Lady Wolves

Not only did coach Mark Gobbo and the Novice "B" girls come as close as any Lady Wolves team to capturing top spot, advancing to the finals before dropping a 3-2 decision to the Mississauga Chiefs, they also provided the most impressive scoring output, netting a total of 20 goals over a five game span.

The team opened play firing on all cylinders, chalking up a 6-4 win over Mississauga as Kiana Verbiwski recorded the hat trick, with Gabrielle Chenard, Lauren Hancock and Elizabeth Thompson adding one goal apiece. Make it a clean sweep in day one action for the youngest Sudbury reps who blank the Oshawa Lady Generals 3-0 Friday evening.

Chenard, Verbiwski and Madison Laberge handled the scoring in game two while Alisa Hitchen picked up the shutout in net for Sudbury. On to the quarter-finals late Saturday afternoon and this one is no contest as the Lady Wolves thump the Whitby Wolves 5-1, with Verbiwski picking up her second hat trick in three games and increasing her goal total to seven.

Gabrielle Chenard and Rylee Moxam round out the scoring parade as the Novice "B" girls guarantee themselves a shot at a medal Sunday afternoon. Things are noticeably tighter on the final day of competition as Sudbury slips past the Guelph Thunder 3-2 in semi-final play as the familiar names of Chenard, Hancock and Verbiwski dot the scoresheet.

Looking to become the first Lady Wolves Novice "B" team to win Gold since the 2004-05 squad turned the trick, the locals came up just one goal short as Gabrielle Chenard and Rebecca Gobbo found the back of the net in a 3-2 loss to Mississauga.

The management of the Novice Lady Wolves wished to express their thanks to the following sponsors: Bristol Machining, DHL Machining, Don Cherry's Sports Grill, Enterprise Radiators & Gas, High Strength Plates & Profiles Inc., Hydro One, KelRon Logistics, Lacroix Construction, Medical Center Foot Clinic & Orthotics, Medicor, Rivard Motors, Royal Appliance Service, Samuel Plates - Sudbury Branch, Schuster Boyd McDonald, St-Charles Bowling, Talos Steel, TESC Contracting, The Maples Golf and Sports Club, Traffic Tech and William Day Construction.

Atom "A" Lady Wolves

Of all the Sudbury teams, the Atom "A" Lady Wolves may well have looked the most impressive in day one action, picking up back to back shutout victories and outscoring the opposition 6-0. Sudbury blanked the Mississaga Chiefs 2-0 in the opener and improved to 2-0 with a 4-0 win over the Stratford Aces.

A full 24 hour break before their next game does not slow down the Atom "A" express, who continue to steamroll the opposition, downing the Aurora Panthers 3-0. A semi-final matchup with the Kingston Ice Wolves awaits, a team that had looked nearly as impressive as the Lady Wolves, outscoring teams 9-2 in winning their first three games.

Kingston would prove a formidable foe, bouncing Sudbury 4-1 (and then winning Gold with a 5-1 victory over Toronto-Leaside) and sending the Lady Wolves to the Bronze medal game. But coach Mike McGaughey and company are not about to leave the GTA without some sort of a souvenir as Melissa Kingsley scores four times, including the game-winner in double overtime as Sudbury edges the Gloucester-Cumberland Stars 4-3 to claim Bronze.

Atom "B" Lady Wolves

A highly successful season also comes to an end on a winning note for the Atom "B" girls, who fall 4-3 to the Woolwich Wild in semi-final action before slipping past the Walkerton Capitals 2-1 to finish third among a field of a dozen teams.

Under head coach Bruno Lapensee, the Sudbury girls captured five tournaments along the way, leading in to their Bronze medal performance at Provincials. The team received a wake-up call early in Mississauga, dropping their opener 3-2 to the Niagara Falls Rapids before evening their record at 1-1 with a 4-0 whitewashing of the Cornwall Typhoons.

An elimination game Saturday morning sees the Lady Wolves clip the Kanata Rangers 3-2, following up with a solid 3-1 quarter-final win over the Georgina Golden Hawks. The 2008-09 roster for the Atom "B" Lady Wolves consists of: Josee Scott, Kaylie Venedam, Marina Plexman, Megan Beauchamp, Joelle Belanger, Megan Potvin, France Belanger, Tayler Murphy, Kailey Lapensee, Jamie Ricci, Taylor Brooks, Karly Piro, Julia Plexman and Emily Hannah.

Peewee "A" Lady Wolves

Few could have predicted that when offensive sparkplug Karli Shell scored for the Peewee "A" Lady Wolves on the very first shift of their opening game against the eventual Gold medallists, that it would be such a bad omen for the local girls.

Shell vaulted her team to a 1-0 lead against the Kitchener Lady Rangers, who rebounded with goals in the first and second periods to register a 2-1 win. Coach Rick Fabiilii's troops would not score another goal for the next six periods when Shell managed to double her team's output as the girls were eliminated after just three games.

Following the loss to Kitchener, Sudbury faced the Brampton Canadettes, failing to capitalize on countless opportunities and having one goal called back as the teams played to a scoreless draw. Danika Lefrancois garnered the shutout donning the pads for the Lady Wolves.

Needing a win against the Clarington Flames and some help in the adjacent ice pad (Brampton needed to upset Kitchener to create a three-way tie), the Lady Wolves entered the final four minutes leading the Flames 1-0 thanks to Shell's second period marker.

But Clarington would rally, tying the score late and taking advantage of a still deflated Sudbury squad in walking away with a 2-1 victory.

Peewee "BB" Lady Wolves

For the second time in a three-year span, a core of the current Peewee "BB" Wolves team manages to rise from the ashes, climbing back all the way to a Silver medal performance despite dropping their first two games at Provincials. Coach Ian Reinhardt and company duplicated the feat of the Atom "A" team two years ago, reeling off three straight wins at critical times to offset an 0-2 record on opening day en route to the final.

As it turns out, the Lady Wolves played in what was the toughest of the four pools, with all three teams from Pool B advancing through to Sunday competition. The locals dropped a 1-0 decision to the Oakville Hornets in game one and struggled later Friday evening, finishing on the wrong end of a 4-0 loss to the Chatham Outlaws.

Thankfully, elimination games for their three-team pool begin on Saturday and the team put it all together in putting together a three game win streak that was kicked off with a 3-1 triumph over the Whitby Wolves as Celina Robicheau netted a pair of goals, with Brittany Reinhardt adding a solo marker.

An outstanding quarter-final battle would not be decided until the third period as Brittany Reinhardt gets credited for the goal when a Markham Stouffville Stars defender inadvertently shovels the puck under and past her own netminder as the Lady Wolves blank the Stars 1-0. Goaltender Alexi Kennedy turns aside everything Markham throws at her in picking up the whitewash.

Off to the semi-finals Sunday morning and a rematch with the Outlaws. This time around, the Lady Wolves are on top of their game, as Brandy Charsley and Kathleen Bertuzzi lift Sudbury to a 2-1 lead when Chatham tied the contest with just 1:08 remaining, forcing overtime.

After killing off four minor penalties in extra-time, the Lady Wolves' Jenna Gough ended matters, scoring a few minutes into the second period of overtime as Sudbury trips up Chatham 3-2. Unfortunately, the lenghty battle appeared to wear down the locals, who settled for Silver after losing 4-1 to the Ottawa Ice.

Bantam "A" Lady Wolves

After showing glimpses of their upside potential in almost all tournaments this year, coach Joe Fabiilli and the Bantam "A" Lady Wolves could not have picked a better time to bring it all together. A stifling team defense and outstanding netminding would see the Bantam ladies surrender just two goals against in six games, chalking up four shutouts along the way.

The net effect was a Silver medal performance as the Lady Wolves fall 1-0 to the Whitby Wolves in the championship encounter, snapping a string of five consecutive victories. The streak commenced with a 2-1 win over the Kanata Rangers as Sarah Prescott and Daniela Mardeiro bury their chances for the locals.

A relatively easy win provides Sudbury with a 2-0 record after day one as provincial-caliber defenseman Corie Jacobson leads the way with a two-goal effort. Katelyn Drabick and Eve Boissonneault round out the attack while netminder Mariah Pollock kicks off a stretch of four straight games in which the Lady Wolves do not allow a single goal against.

Boissonneault nets her second goal of the weekend as the Bantams guarantee themselves top spot in Pool "C" with a 1-0 win over the Etobicoke Dolphins as Alyssa Talevi garners her first shutout. An impressive performance in the Saturday evening quarter-final sees Jacobson open the scoring on one of her patented end to end rushes, and Sudbury never looks back, downing the Hamilton Hawks 3-0.

Prescott, on a pretty crease-side pass from Boissonneault and Elyssa Bertuzzi, into an empty-net, provide the remaining Sudbury goals as Pollock keeps things clean between the pipes. A Sunday morning date with the Stratford Aces finds the teams fighting it out for a berth in the finals.

Eve Boissonneault continues her trend of scoring big goals, finding the back of the net late in the first and Alyssa Talevi makes it stand as the game-winner as Sudbury blanks Stratford 1-0, guaranteeing a return trip home with a medal in hand. Unfortunately, the girls would settle for Silver, victims of squandered scoring chances as the team drops a 1-0 decision to Whitby.

Bantam "BB" Lady Wolves

As close as one could come without moving on as the Bantam "BB" ladies earn a pair of ties before losing 1-0 to Georgina and finding themselves on the sidelines late Saturday afternoon. The squad, under the guidance of head coach Steve Boyd, played to a scoreless draw with the Etobicoke Dolphins in their opener as Emily Toffoli backstopped the Lady Wolves.

A little more offense in game two as Karlene Fox scores in the final minute of play, lifting Sudbury to a 2-2 tie with the Chatham Outlaws. Emily Smith put the locals on the board with a pretty individual effort in the middle stanza. No further scoring was forthcoming from the Bantam "BB" girls, who lose to the Georgina Golden Hawks 1-0.

Midget "A" Lady Wolves

Yet another team with offensive woes, although in fairness, two of the Midget "A" top guns were missing with Melissa Belanger and Karly Dudar both on the sidelines due to injuries. Still, the Lady Wolves started well enough, chalking up a 1-0 win over the Toronto-Leaside Wildcats 1-0 as Dominique David provided the scoring in support of netminder Britny Burns.

The coin is flipped over as Sudbury finds themselves on the wrong end of a 1-0 final score, losing to the Brampton Canadettes and falling to 1-1. Playoff hopes remain alive as the Lady Wolves tackle the Oakville Hornets Saturday afternoon, but it is not to be.

Melissa McIver scores the only Sudbury goal as the Hornets sting the Lady Wolves 2-1, ending the locals run at the OWHA championships this year.


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Medal Count continues to rise for Lady Wolves
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