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Joe MacDonald Youth Football League
Quality Inn - Sudbury
Friday, May. 24, 2019
Knights claim first ever Division I girls hockey crown
2019-02-28
by Randy Pascal

The Lo-Ellen Park Knights racked up their first ever SDSSAA Division I girls hockey title on Wednesday, and they did it in style.

Just 24 hours after scrapping out a 2-0 decision in game one of their best of three series with the Collège Notre-Dame Alouettes, the Knights left little doubt who the top team was in town this year.

With two goal performances from both Bradie Roy and Hanna Smith, and a more-than-solid 27 save effort from goaltender Kristen Mrozewski, Lo-Ellen cruised to an 8-1 win and the championship banner, in the process.

Katie Chomiak, Makayla Gratton, Paige Crowder and Aoife Mahaffy rounded out the scoring for the winners, with Chloe Leduc replying in a losing cause for CND. Mahaffy and Emma Dyer accounted for the offense in the game one triumph.

"Our girls play well together, we have a lot of different individuals that can score on this team," noted Knights' head coach Larry Frank. "We had pretty well the same team back from last year, maybe minus one or two."

"We had four additions come on to the team, and that really made a difference, made a difference with the defence, because they are all new defencemen that came in." After emerging as one of the top contenders in the city one year ago, earning a berth in OFSAA, Lo-Ellen continued their onward and upward trajectory in 2018-2019.

"A few years ago, we were lucky enough to win Division B," said Frank. "Since then, we've been slowly building over the years, as more and more players start coming to Lo-Ellen." And while there is no lack of Lady Wolves' talent on the roster of either of these teams, there still is room in the ranks for the all-around high-school athlete.

"I have played hockey since I was little, not competitively, but it was definitely my favourite sport," noted 18 year old grade 12 senior Bronwyn Mantle. "It was the only sport that I did outside of school."

"I just didn't want to do it competitively because I didn't want to lose the chance of playing all of the other sports. I just couldn't choose. I love them all." In the mind of this multi-sport athlete, there are ways in which one can compensate for a lack of sport-specific excellence.

"In my opinion, I think it's all effort," said Mantle. "You might not have all of the skills of the girls that spend hours and hours, every week, doing hockey, but you can still keep up and help them out. That's why I love playing defence, because I can start the play and they can go finish it."

Also a member of the Lo-Ellen senior girls volleyball team that leaves Sunday for OFSAA, Mantle draws an interesting connection between two of her primary sports. "They all intertwine," she said. "Hockey helps me a lot with game awareness."

"I have never played competitive volleyball, but the awareness of the game helps so much position-wise, knowing where to be and when." Both Lo-Ellen and Notre-Dame leave for North Bay on Monday, site of the NOSSA playdowns, with all of the 2019 OFSAA Girls Hockey Championships taking place in Midland from March 18th to the 21st.

Rounding out the Lo-Ellen roster are Jessica Ouimet, Lauren Fearn, Alexandra Lumme, Amanda Symington, Jill Kusnierczyk, Cecilia Anderson, Kayla Thompson, Taylor Bushowski and Chloe Campeau.

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