Lalonde remains red hot as Cards clinch crown over Chargers
by Randy Pascal
If but for a few key early saves from Riley Ouellette, perhaps the story of the SDSSAA boys hockey final might have been written differently.
But Ouellette would bail his team out, when needed, en route to a shutout performance, and the St Charles College Cardinals power play was firing
on all cylinders, accounting for four goals as the Cards upended the Confederation Chargers 5-0 in the third and deciding game of the series
Thursday night at the Gerry McCrory Sports Complex.
Bryceton Lalonde maintained his red-hot scoring touch, netting a hat trick to lead the way and giving the St Charles captain no less than 16 goals
in the past six games and earning playoff MVP accolades in the process. Justin Gibeault rounded out the offense with a two goal performance.
"At the beginning, we had a rough start, but then we started finding our legs and then took it to them for the rest of the game," noted stalwart
defensive anchor Tanner Webkamigad. The Cardinals enjoyed a 2-0 lead after the first and 5-0 after thirty minutes of play.
It was a given that this series was going to provide for an interesting contrast in playing styles, even if both teams were already assured of moving on
to NOSSA championships next week.
"The other teams in the league focus more on speed," said Webkamigad. "Confed is a lot more physical. We're a small team, but we're fast and we try and
keep it disciplined. I think that played a big factor tonight."
Now in his third year with the team, the former SMHA "AAA" hockey talent and SDSSAA Defenceman of the Year noted something of a difference with the
chemistry of a team which was not viewed, initially at least, as runaway favourites coming out of pre-season play.
"This year's team felt tight, all year round, straight from tryouts," suggested Webkamigad. "We were a family all the way through and tonight, we really
brought it all together."
St Charles will travel to Sault Ste Marie on Sunday, joining the Korah Colts, Superior Heights Steelhawks and Chippewa Raiders for the
"A/AA" affair, while Confederation now makes the trek east to North Bay, site of the "AAA" playdowns early next week.