The tradition of top-end local ringette is alive and well.
Participating at a tournament in Burlington earlier this month, the Sudbury U14 Thunder "A" Team posted three wins in five games, struggling to overcome only the St Catharines Comets.
The Thunder opened with victories over the Elora-Fergus Edge (4-2), the Newmarket Rays (6-2) and Mississauga Mustangs (6-4), before dropping a tough 1-0 decision to St Catharines.
Their round robin record placed Sudbury in third place, forcing a semi-final rematch with the Comets. St Catharines go out to an early 2-0 lead, and when they extended it to 3-0 in the second period, things did not look good for the northern crew.
Showing some impressive resiliency, however, the Thunder rallied, breaking the ice with 2:50 to play, and then forcing overtime with a pair of goals 25 seconds apart in the final two minutes of play.
Unfortunately, the Comets were able to pull this one out of the fire, securing a 4-3 win in the extra session, though the Sudbury squad were recognized as the Most Sportsmanlike team in their division.
"The Burlington tournament was just amazing," noted head coach Lucie Poulin. "I am so proud of these girls. They played with heart and determination. It brought me to tears, of joy and pride."
Understandably, the tournament featured a nummber of individual highlights, from team captain Alexandra Bloomfield, setting the pace for her team with her speed, and leading the way offensively with four goals, to underage defender Katie MacIsaac, who makes up for her lack of height with a tireless effort.
Goaltender Maddy Laframboise showed poise from start to finish, while notable improvement was shown by the likes of Emily Baxter Brown (five points) and Amanda Tocholke (scoring her first goal).
The 2014-2015 edition of the Sudbury U14 Thunder is comprised of Katie MacIsaac, Megan Watson, Jessica Willis, Erika Poirier, Patricia Deschenes, Amanda Mayer, Kaitlyn Chevrier, Hannah Vehkela, Marlee Henschel, Alexandra Bloomfield, Maddy Laframboise, Alexis Pilon, Emily Baxter Brown, Amanda Tocholke, Emily Punkari, Kylee LaPalme, head coach Lucie Pilon, assistants Ron Poirier and Melissa Lapalme, Melanie Pilon and team manager Marta Merla.