No better time to start building a little momentum, in the world of girls hockey, than right after Christmas.
The Sudbury Midget "AA" Lady Wolves came up with likely their best tournament performance of the season, working their way through to the championship final of the Toronto Aeros Holiday Classic, settling for silver, when all was said and done.
The local midgets kicked off their run by blanking the Clarington Flames 2-0, with Mya Headrick and Vanessa McKinnon lighting the lamp for Sudbury, and netminder Madison Brunet recording the shutout.
The Lady Wolves remained undefeated on day one, playing the Chatham Crush to a 1-1 draw later that afternoon as blueliner Carisa Baron netted the only Sudbury goal.
A second straight tie would see the northern crew finish deadlocked at 2-2 with the Syracuse Valley Eagles, early Friday afternoon, with Luca Rebec and Emilie Comeau handling the offense, before the team got back on the winning track in their quarter-final match-up.
In an absolute nail-biter, the Lady Wolves and Oakville Hornets were tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation plus a short overtime, with Vanessa McKinnon registering her second tally of the weekend.
Off to a shootout, where Sudbury goaltender Kristen Mrozewski and her Oakville counterpart were absolutely sensational in the penalty shot competition, with neither team scoring through nine rounds of shooters.
Vanessa McKinnon would ultimately propel coach Jay Duncan and company through to the semi-finals, where his team would meet Syracuse Valley for a second time. There would be very little soaring for the U.S.-based Eagles, grounded in a 3-0 loss to the defending provincial champions, as Luca Rebec, Mya Headrick and Aiofe Mahaffy scored in support of the second shutout of the tournament for Madison Brunet.
Matched up against a Chicago Mission group that had strung together five straight victories, boasting a plus 15 goal differential (16-1), the Midget "AA" Lady Wolves came up just a little bit short, beaten 3-1 as Deseray Zazulak drilled home the only goal for the SDGHA reps.
The girls are back in action against Lower Lakes Female Hockey League foes this coming weekend, travelling south to do battle with the Toronto-Leaside Wildcats (7-5-3) and Brampton Canadettes (14-2-2), and hoping to perhaps jump another slot or two from their current standing in fifth place with a record of 10-6-2.