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Northern Chill Volleyball Club
Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018
Lady Wolves remain busy - here, there and everywhere
2018-10-31
by Randy Pascal

With the shift to November just a day away, one can now rest assured that the entirety of the 15-team Sudbury Lady Wolves delegation is in mid-season form, with most having competed in their first tournament of the year (some are on number two and beyond).

Furthermore, league action has commenced in both the Lower Lakes Female Hockey League (LLFHL), as well as with the teams that are playing locally in either the Nickel District Minor Hockey League or the Northeast House League.

With all of this in mind, it seemed like an ideal time to touch base with at least a handful of the squads that are donning the local colours this year. The Bantam “AA” Lady Wolves wrapped up their busiest month of the LLFHL schedule, by far, last weekend, registering a pair of ties against the North York Storm (2-2) and Barrie Sharks (1-1).

In fact, more than half of the team's league games to date have ended in ties, with Sudbury sporting a record of 1-3-5, currently sitting in fourth place (of ten) in the Central Division, but with all nine other teams in their bracket still holding games in hand.

“I see us as a competitive team this year,” noted head coach Don Tremblay, earlier in the fall. “I'm hoping to be in the top half of the Lower Lakes “AA” loop. Our defensive game is very strong. Our girls move the puck pretty well, and they are very hard workers.”

“We're gearing a lot of our skills drills towards scoring and towards the forecheck, creating pressure,” Tremblay continued. “I'm hoping that will fall in place over the course of the season.” The Bantam “A” Lady Wolves have also front-end loaded their LLFHL schedule, boasting a record of 3-2-2 and trailing only the northern rival North Bay Ice Boltz (6-0-0) in league standings.

Coach Blair Coulson and company are eyeing another busy weekend ahead, heading south to face the Barrie Sharks, Durham West Lightning, Vaughan Flames and Aurora Panthers, all in a span of less than 48 hours. The Bantam “A” girls will enjoy a pair of home games, this year, with the Ice Boltz making the trek to the Toe Blake (Coniston) Arena on back to back Thursdays in January.

By contrast to their bantam counterparts, the Sudbury Midget “A” Lady Wolves have eased their way into the LLFHL season, capturing three of their first four games to date, but playing six times in November and seven in December. The team has benefitted from a nicely balanced attack, with Vanessa McKinnon and Jenna Lachance both scoring twice in league play, and Daphne Vigna, Emilie Pelletier, Joelle Gagnon, Chloe Leduc, Danika Godin and Hannah Nykilchyk all adding singles.

The team is back on the road this weekend, taking part in the Rush Inferno Tournament in Buffalo, before resuming action in Ontario on November 17th (vs Markham-Stouffville Stars) and November 18th (King Royals). Meanwhile, the Atom “B” Lady Wolves were one of eight local teams which took part in the Etobicoke Pink in the Rink tournament earlier this month.

The team had prepped for the event by completing a two game exhibition game sweep over the North Bay Ice Boltz, racking up victories by scores of 4-0 and 3-1. Makayla Dunn and Rory Soucie found the back of the net twice each, Jordyn Hampel, Nevaeh Koostachin and Leah Salo added one goal apiece, Daniela Grottoli recorded the shutout, and the defensive efforts of Megan Pineau, Michaela Coté, Maddie Buchkowski, Joanna Ajueze, Maya Herst and Serena Harris were noted by the team coaching staff.

The Sudbury Peewee “AA” Lady Wolves may have settled for a 1-2-1 record in Etobicoke, but that didn't stop team member Maija Potvin from enjoying a very special month. A twelve year old grade seven student at Lo-Ellen Park Elementary School, Potvin came up with the selected tag line for the upcoming 2019 Esso Cup next April - “Mining for Medals”.

“Sudbury is a mining town, and it's also a hockey town, so we mine for metals and we play hockey for medals,” explained the talkative youngster of the rationale behind the quote. Potvin was on hand for the recent ticket launch for the event, with tournament co-chair Pat Murphy and company hoping to sellout all 900 ticket packages over the course of the next five months.

“There was a lot of back and forth with the OWHA (Ontario Women's Hockey Association) and with Hockey Canada, with the Host Committee, when it came to ticket pricing,” he acknowledged. “I think where we all came to an agreement was that we want to offer great value for each ticket package. Nineteen games for a $60 ticket package is pretty darn good value, we feel.”

As for the host team themselves, coach Jay Duncan and the girls continue to pad their resume. The Midget “AA” Lady Wolves added to their unblemished league mark to date (4-0-0), earning silver medals, over the weekend, at the Two Nations College Prep Series in Detroit.

The locals opened with a 3-2 win over Detroit Honeybaked, as Alexe Clavelle scored twice in a span of 2:22 in the third period, and followed that up with another close win, this time over Ridley College (4-3), with Katie Chomiak netting the game winning goal with under three minutes to play.

The Lady Wolves picked up more steam on Saturday, bouncing the Chicago Young Americans 5-1 and downing the Anaheim Lady Ducks by the exact same score, as Taylor Scott potted the hat trick. Their 4-0 preliminary round mark would pit the northern crew opposite the buzzsaw that is Shattuck St Mary's, as the Minnesota based prep college dumped Sudbury 8-1.

Casey O'Brien might be a player to keep an eye on, as the US national U18 team member scored no less than five goals in leading the way for the tournament champs.

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