If a championship run at the Cambridge Roadrunners 27th Annual Girls Hockey Tournament would teach the Sudbury U18 B Lady Wolves anything, it's that their road out of northern Ontario to provincials might be far more challenging than some of the competition that await them if they get to their desired destination.
Handling the likes of the St Catharines Brock Jr Badgers (7-0) and Etobicoke Dolphins (9-0 in round robin; 3-0 in SF) with relative ease, the local girls faced their stiffest test against the North Bay Ice Boltz team they will need to get past in OWHA playdowns next month.
The Ice Boltz scored the only goal that the Lady Wolves allowed all weekend in a 3-1 loss to Sudbury before the locals blanked their northern rivals 2-0 in the championship affair, with both goals coming late in the third as Hannah Sullivan broke the 0-0 goose-egg and Mya Massimiliano added a little insurance in support of the shutout netminding of Ashleigh Beauchamp.
"I was very pleased with our overall team effort," noted head coach Aaron Aikia. "Our defence and forwards played well in all three zones, controlling play in each and every game."
"It was a total team effort, with goaltenders only giving up just one goal all weekend," added Aikia. "The defense, through their solid puck movement allowed all three lines to contribute offensively."
The balance of the Sudbury U18 B roster features goaltender Macey Gaudin-Blanchette as well as Gracie Dale, Peyton Aikia, Tessa Alexander, Kaylee Alberton, Ava Bignucolo, Peyton Gillis, Réanna Tremblay, Izabel Courville, Mya Ricci, Brooke Gibeault, Sarah Withers, Danyka Tremblay, Adrianne Alexander and Reese Roy.
Joining head coach Aikia on the team staff are assistant coaches Don Tremblay, Kurt Gillis and Bob Alexander, team manager Renée Boucher and trainers Dylann Aikia, Mireille Tremblay and Jamie Ricci.
Also part of the field at the Roadrunners Tournament, the Sudbury U18 A Lady Wolves earned bronze medals, bookending wins over the Clarence-Rockland Lightning (2-1) and Saugeen-Maitland Lightning (1-0) around a defeat at the hands of the Peterborough Ice Kats (3-1).
The Lady Wolves were blanked 3-0 in the semi-finals by the Kanata Rangers but bounced back to slip past Peterborough 3-2 in the third place match-up.