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Monday, Oct. 22, 2018
Pink in the Rink and pucks in the net
by Randy Pascal

Sudbury District Girls Hockey Association (SDGHA) teams are wasting very little time making their presence felt right across the province this fall. More than half of the 15 teams that don the Lady Wolves jerseys were in action recently, many of those competing at the Etobicoke Pink in the Rink tournament last weekend, and others at home and on the road for Lower Lakes Female Hockey League (LLFHL) regular season play.

A quartet of Sudbury entries were busy in the GTA with tournament play, with all four teams advancing at the very least to the Sunday morning semi-finals. Coach Ian Reinhardt and the Midget “BB” Lady Wolves took it one step further, eventually falling 2-0 in the championship affair to the Kanata Rangers.

The setback followed a 3-0 performance in round robin play in which Sudbury downed the Durham West Lightning 3-1 (Emma Chamberland, Aaliyah Canard, Taylor Buchkowski), the Etobicoke Dolphins 3-1 (Cassy Watters, Chamberland, McKenna Cresswell) and the Huron Heat 3-2 (Lilia Mae Samuels-2, Chamberland).

A closely contested semi-final outing would see Sudbury slip past the Aurora Panthers 1-0 as Janelle Brunette provided an outstanding set-up to the game-winning goal from Emma Chamberland, with Dana Lewis backstopping her team with a shutout between the pipes.

The 2017-2018 edition of the Midget "BB" squad includes Dylan Aikia, Dana Lewis, Emma Chamberland, Cassy Watters, Aaliyah Canard, Bradie Roy, Faith Taylor, Isabella Becker, Janelle Brunette, Kasey Faught, Katie Pichette, Kayden Charbonneau, Lexie McNamara, Lilia Mae Samuels, MacKenzie Tardif, McKenna Cresswell, Taylor Buchowski, coaches Ian Reinhardt, Rick Emond, André Brunette and Kristyn Pascal, trainer Marina Plexman and manager Lee Ann Bilec.

A pair of local teams were eliminated by the eventual divisional champs, including the Bantam “B” Lady Wolves, who matched the flawless preliminary round record of their midget counterparts. Coach Clay Burton’s troops would get the better of the Kitchener Lady Rangers 1-0 (Jacinta Eshkakogan, shutout Jessy Trottier), the Kanata Rangers 3-1 (Abigail Lanteigne, Raeleigh Chartier and Sydney Burton) and the North York Rangers 5-0 (Emma Dyer-2, Chartier, Carley Burton, Lanteigne – shutout Trottier).

In a goaltending duel in which Lady Wolves puckstopper Jessica Ouimet was every bit the equal of her counterpart at the other end of the rink, Sudbury lost 1-0 to Detroit Honeybaked in their semi-final match, with the U.S. side going on to win the tournament, edging Kitchener 2-1 in the grand finale.

The balance of the Bantam "B" roster features Cecilia Anderson, Katelyn Lee, Kamryn Hammell, Julia Hayes, Katelyn Guzzo, Allie Miller, Kirstin Fahey, Gabriella Moggy and Abby Soehner.

The Sudbury Atom “A” Lady Wolves also topped their pool, posting a record of 2-1-0 thanks to victories over the Etobicoke Dolphins 2-1 (Kynley Cresswell-2) and the Burlington Barracudas 1-0 (Maia Hammell; shutout for Leah Murphy). Despite a 1-0 loss to the Kanata Rangers in this closely contested grouping, the northern girls still earned a bye directly to the Sunday morning contest. Unfortunately, they were unable to secure a tournament sweep over the Barracudas, as coach Sean Gallagher and company now prepare for local league action.

Finally, the Peewee “BB” Lady Wolves remained undefeated in round robin play, blanking the Aurora Panthers 3-0, and playing to a 1-1 draw with both the NoVA Ice Dogs from Northern Virginia as well as the Etobicoke Dolphins (Basso).

Showing the way in Pool “A”, the Sudbury crew blanked the Etobicoke Dolphins (Baker) by a final count of 4-0 in their quarter-final showdown, but were trimmed 2-1 by the Kanata Rangers, the team that would take it all in the end.

The flagship Midget “AA” program kicked off a hectic stretch of scheduling, registering a 5-1 win over Team China last weekend in Vaughan, as Deseray Zazulak powered the attack with a two goal effort. Lauren Hancock, Katie Chomiak and Hannah Smith rounded out the scoring, as the squad returned home to kickoff their LLFHL schedule this past Sunday at Countryside.

The Lady Wolves upended the North York Storm 3-1, with defenceman Madison Laberge drilling home a pair of power play tallies and Zazulak finding the empty net with an insurance marker in a spirited affair. More news with this group as Laberge was named to the Team Ontario U18 roster that will travel to Quebec to compete at the U18 Nationals in early November.

Laberge, a grade 11 student at Confederation Secondary who has already verbally committed to the St Lawrence Saints NCAA program for the 2019-2020 campaign, follows in a tradition that has seen the likes of Corie Jacobson, Carley Olivier, Josée Belanger, Rebecca Johnston and Tessa Bonhomme represent the province in the past.

The Midget “A” Lady Wolves have rebounded after a pair of season opening setbacks, earning a pair of ties against the Vaughan Flames (1-1 and 0-0). The team is back on the road this coming weekend, facing both the North York Storm and Aurora Panthers in Toronto.

After launching their 2017-2018 schedule with a 2-1 win over North York – Kelsey Dunn would score twice – the Sudbury Bantam “AA” Lady Wolves suffered three straight defeats, including a 1-0 shutout to the Etobicoke Dolphins, before snapping their skid, playing to a 2-2 deadlock with the Mississauga Chiefs.

Finally, the Bantam “A” girls have yet to taste defeat three games into their LLFHL experience, beating the North Bay Ice Boltz 3-1 on Sunday as Rebecca Slywchuk, Sophie Bensley and Trinity Jeffery all pulled the trigger for the locals.

The team opened the campaign with a 1-1 tie against the Barrie Sharks, as Kianna D'Attilio found the back of the net, and tasted victory against North Bay for the first time on October 14th, clipping the Boltz 3-2 courtesy of tallies from Jill Kusnierczyk, Pascale Tremblay and Meghan Papineau.

Alumni Updates: Carley Olivier recorded the first point of her NCAA career, picking up an assist in the Connecticut Huskies 5-0 win over the Union College Dutchwomen.....the Ottawa Gee Gees trio of Taylor McGaughey, Meagan McGaughey, Kailey Lapensee and Mélisa Kingsley and their team are off and rolling, registering a solid 3-1 win over the 6th ranked Concordia Stingers to open the season.

"The confidence is definitely building, I'm getting used to my players, my coaching staff, and the way everyone runs, the system," said Taylor McGaughey, now in her second year with the Gee Gees. "Once you understand more, you can really start focusing on the little things."

"The lines are changing a lot right now, so I'm trying to build chemistry with anybody I am playing with," she added. While the Sudbury connection to Ottawa is noteworthy, it is certainly particularly special for McGaughey and mates to welcome the return of Mélisa Kingsley, the Collège Notre-Dame graduate who missed her entire 2016-2017 rookie season as she continues her battle against cancer.

"It was great to see her out there," McGaughey noted of her long-time linemate's appearance in the Ottawa lineup for some pre-season games. "It was definitely emotional, I was just so happy for her. Last year, every game, we would hang up her jersey behind the bench. To just see her out there was a great moment."

Yet another local product off to a good start as goaltender Stephanie Pascal and the Queen's Gaels nab a season opening road win, squeezing past the UOIT Ridgebacks 2-1 in Oshawa. Pascal turned aside 21 of the 22 shots that she faced in picking up the win between the pipes.

A handful of Sudbury based talent will launch their OUA schedule at home this weekend, as the Laurentian Voyageurs welcome both the Western Mustangs (Saturday) and the Windsor Lancers (Sunday) to Northern Ontario.

The Voyageur team roster includes Lady Wolves' products Elissa Bertuzzi, Amélie Samson and Myla McCormick. Meanwhile, Karli Shell and the Guelph Gryphons begin their quest for a third straight provincial title, facing a much improved Ryerson Rams team in Guelph tomorrow night.

Sidelined for part of the pre-season with concussion symptoms, Shell is looking to continue her upward statistical trend, having posted seasons of eight and 15 points since her entry to the OUA.

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