The local competitive ringette crew were taking their show on the road last weekend, as both the Sudbury U14 girls, and the Valley East U18 ladies were off to Timmins, site of the 2016 Ringette Ontario Provincial “A” Championships.
The elder clan returned home as bronze medal winners, enjoying some outstanding competition over the course of the four-day event. The Valley East crew started strong, picking up a 5-4 win over the Carleton University Ravens, as Renée Delarosbil and Caitlyn Ranger netted two goals apiece, with Rachel Gouveia adding the other.
Valley East remained unbeaten on day one, following up with a 4-4 draw with the Mississauga Mustangs, as Chelsea Clingen, Samantha-Jan Odorizzi, Delarosbil and Gouveia found the back of the net for coach Luc Delarosbil and company.
The locals knew they were in tough on day two, suffering setbacks to both the Guelph University Gryphons (4-2 - Angela Mead and Isabelle Veilleux) and the Ottawa Gee Gees (3-1 - Delarosbil).
The pushback they needed was evident on Saturday, as Valley East dumped the Hamilton Heat 6-1, with Delarosbil drilling a hat-trick, Gouveia scoring twice, and Ranger adding a singleton.
The team followed that up with a 6-4 triumph over the Nutri-Lawn Panthers from Gloucester, as Delarosbil, with two, Veilleux, Gouveia, Alex Parker and Desirée Leclair all found their way on to the scoresheet for the winners.
A record of 3-2-1 earned the U18 squad a berth in the semi-finals, where they fell to Guelph, once again, this time by a final count of 3-1, with Mead netting the only goal for Valley East. With the loss, the locals settled for third place, and bronze medals.
The Sudbury U14 reps looked to be well on their way to duplicating a medal performance, opening with guns ‘a blazing, as they blasted Upper Ottawa Valley 12-0 last Thursday.
Erika Poirier and Alexis Pilon scored two goals each, with Jessica Willis, Lexi McMurray, Kylee Lapalme, Patricia Deschenes, Amanda Tocholke, Avery Blanchard, Megan Watson and Emily Baxter-Brown also joining the tandem in the offensive onslaught.
The lopsided affair, however, turned out to be the exception to the rule, as the Sudbury squad settled in with games that could have gone either way. A late rally came up short in game two, as the locals were beaten 5-4 by the Forest Xtreme, with Blanchard and Pilon both enjoying two-goal performances for Sudbury.
The Gloucester Cumberland Devils got the better of the Nickel City reps, besting Sudbury 5-3, with Blanchard (2) and Poirier at the forefront of the attack for the losers.
A third straight setback, this time to the London Lynx by a final count of 3-1, effectively torpedoed the locals chance at a podium finish. Poirier rifled home the only Sudbury goal, finding the mark with just nine seconds to play in the first period.
Out of the playoff hunt, the team battled, beating the Burlington Blast 5-3, before dropping a 2-0 decision to the host Timmins Tornadoes. Blanchard registered her sixth and seventh goals of the tournament against Burlington, with Kaitlyn Hinksman, Willis and Pilon tallying once each.