A pair of gold medal performances and a silver medal effort in a span of just two weeks must have the Greater Sudbury North Stars ringette teams anxious to see what the remainder of 2023 holds in store.
Just last weekend, the U12 A North Stars continued a trend that was established a week earlier, emerging as hard fought champions of the 44th Annual Winterfest Tournament in Waterloo.
The locals started nicely, picking up a pair of wins on Friday with victories over the West Ottawa Wild (3-1 - Zoe Charbonneau, Addison Resmer, Taylor Wragg) and the Cambridge Turbos (6-2 - Quinn Armstrong - 3, Alexie Wissell, Sara Levasseur, Zoe Charbonneau).
A string of very close affairs would see the northern crew play to a 2-2 draw with the host Waterloo Wildfire (Sara Levasseur, Quinn Armstrong), before securing their spot in the final with a 5-3 triumph over the London Lynx (Zoe Charbonneau - 2, Quinn Armstrong, Alexie Wissell, Taylor Wragg).
A rematch with Waterloo in the gold medal game was every bit as close as the opener, with the North Stars bolting to a 3-0 lead but needing a tally from Alexie Wissell with eight minutes to play to snap a 3-3 tie and send the Sudbury squad home victorious by a final count of 4-3.
The remainder of the U12 North Stars' roster features goalies Chloe Savignac and Lauryn Plourde, as well as skaters Eva Morin, Brielle Blanchette, Gabrielle Phillippe, Eden Foucault, Kara Kirkey, Elle Wheeler, Isabelle Laplante, McLaren Giselman and Grace Michaud.
The team staff includes head coach Lucie Poulin, assistant coaches Eric Levasseur and Brett Resmer, trainers Teri-Mai Armstrong and Pat Wissell and team manager Marta Merla.
Just a week earlier, the Greater Sudbury U14 A North Stars would string together five straight wins to walk away from the Cambridge Tournament with the banner, overpowering a pair of opponents before going toe to toe with the silver medal winning Mitchell Stingers.
The North Stars drubbed the host team 10-0 in their curtain-riser as the one-two punch of Yasmine Ahmed (four goals) and Brooke Lanovaz (two goals) set the tone for the weekend. Mia Michaud, Emilie Phillippe, Cora Dippong and Kienna Bracken chipped in with one goal each.
The London Lynx proved to be no match for the Sudbury A squad as Brooke Lanovaz lit the lamp five times in a 7-3 win, with Kienna Bracken and Mia Michaud also finding their way on to the scoresheet.
Lanovaz would net her eighth and ninth markers of the weekend in helping lift the locals to a 3-0 win as her team improved to 3-0, with Emilie Phillippe adding the remaining tally.
Facing London for a second time, the North Stars cruised to a 5-1 win courtesy of the offensive output of Yasmine Ahmed (2), Brooke Lanovaz, Joslyn McLaughlin and Jenna Provincial.
Their stiffest test would come in the final as second period goals from Brooke Lanovaz and Emilie Phillippe, 77 seconds apart broke a 3-3 deadlock and vaulting Sudbury past Mitchell, 5-3. Madison Troscinski, Joslyn McLaughlin and Yasmine Ahmed also found the back of the net for the winners.
Also contributing heavily to the championship run were Jacqueline MacMillan, Lauren Dupuis, Sophia Doyle, Ashlyn Doyle and netminder Sophie Savignac. Joining head coach Tina Duguay on the team staff are Angele Savignac, Christine Duguay Blacklock, Bradie Granger, Joel Michaud, Shayne Troscinski and Shelley Ahmed.
Finally, the U16A North Stars would come up just one step short, unable to solve the West Ottawa Wild on the weekend of January 6th to the 8th at the Whitby Tournament. Sudbury kicked things off against a very familiar foe, outscoring the Timmins Tornadoes 8-5 as Mackenzie Coufal and Caedene Troscinski netted two goals apiece.
Singles would come from the quartet of Ali Buttarella, Maxyme Brulé, Meghan Paquette and Katrine Fortier. In tough against the Wild in game two of round robin play, the Sudbury girls were doubled 4-2 by West Ottawa, with Meghan Paquette and Ali Buttarella countering in a losing cause.
More success against the north for the North Stars as the U16 A grouping receive two goal efforts from Ali Buttarella, Mackenzie Coufal and Katrine Fortier, besting the Sault Ice Hawks 8-3. Caedene Troscinski and Jade Toner also managed to whistle the ring home for Sudbury.
Needing at least a tie to advance to the final, the nickel city reps battled to the final buzzer opposite the Metcalfe & District Hornets, earning a point when the scoreboard eventually would read 5-5.
Mackenzie Coufal scored twice for Sudbury, with Jade Toner, Bree Bomhower and Caedene Troscinski also helping her out on the attack. A 7-1 loss to West Ottawa (Katrine Fortier for Sudbury) did little to diminish the pride of the local coaching staff.
Payton Houle, Marley Lee, Lily Maurice, Allaya Bisaillon, Kaylyn Rautiainen, Danielle Levasseur, Morgan Corbiere and Abigael Barney all pitched in, each in their own unique way. The team staff includes Cory Foucault, Lee Bomhower, Dan Paquette and Darren Toner.
With ringette numbers of the rise locally, the Greater Sudbury Ringette Association no longer requires their "A" players to also play within the houseleague loop, an arrangement which seems to be benefitting both groups based on the listed results of the North Stars squads, but also the performance of the Sudbury U14 recreational crew in Waterloo.
That entry got rolling quickly, thumping Metcalfe-Calver 9-1 on goals from Alex Cadotte (4), Chloe Tremblay (2), Emily-Mae Young, Nessa Roy and Madeline Dunton.
A lot less scoring but still a Sudbury victory in game two as Christelle Blanchette nets the game-winner with exactly one minute to play, propelling the locals past Tillsonburg 3-2. Alex Cadotte registered the first two strikes for Sudbury.
Yet another encounter that went right down to the wire as Waterloo scored with 16 seconds to play, earning a 2-2 tie with their nothern opponents, who received their offense courtesy of Chloe Tremblay and Alyssa MacInnis.
A 4-0 loss to Kitchener still left the Sudbury girls sporting a record of 2-1-1, more than enough to satisfy head coach Lauren Somers and her staff. "We were blown away by the team's play and their effort every game," noted Somers.
"The whole team deserves to be incredibly proud of themselves for being great role models of sportsmanship and fair play. As well, a special shout out to Alyssa Joslin, our goalie, for playing brilliantly and keeping us in every game."
Rounding out the Sudbury U14 houseleague roster were Hailey Poitras, Faraday Lavallee, Lexa Pharand, Kaydence Resmer and Aubry Champagne.