(With files from the Mitchell Advocate newspaper)
NORTH BAY – The Mitchell Excalibur Insurance U-19A ringette team went undefeated to win the McCarthy Division (lower tier of seven teams) of the provincial championships here on the March 14-17 weekend.
League rival Forest won the Jacks Division (top tier, also with seven teams) with an overtime win over another league foe, Guelph.
Three St. Marys girls–Emma Bryans, Katie Brine and Jaci Mitchell–played key roles for the Mitchell team, which proved no doubt they were the class of their division. The U-19 squad out-scored their opponents 34-11 over seven games, winning five and skating to a 2-2 tie in another during round-robin play which gave them a bye to the championship. Mitchell defeated Oshawa 7-3 in the championship Sunday afternoon, breaking open a 1-1 tie with two goals late in the first half and adding two more in the first two-and-a-half minutes of the second half to cruise to victory.
Emma Bryans and Kaylin Rose – the one-two punch offensively – paced the win in the final as Bryans had a hat trick and an assist, while Rose clicked for two goals and two assists. Chloe Lewis and Rylie Dietz also scored.
Rose was the division’s top scorer with 7-12-19 totals in seven games, while Bryans was the top goal scorer, with 12, and added five assists for 17 points.
Meanwhile, tight defence played a huge role as well with goaltender Rachel Van Bakel allowing just 1.5 goals per game.
Lewis’s second goal of the game with just over six minutes left was the winner as Mitchell opened the tournament with a 2-1 win over London. Rose netted a hat trick to propel their next win, a 6-1 triumph over Gloucester Cumberland, with Nicki Van Bakel and Dietz also finding the net.
Friday’s action began with a 7-1 rout of Cambridge as Nicki Van Bakel fired a hat trick. Bryans had two goals, with Emily Anstett and Dietz picking up singles. In their tie with Ajax, Bryans scored both goals.
Bryans and Dietz each scored twice to pace the 4-1 victory over Oshawa on the final day of round-robin play Saturday, with Rose and Nicki Van Bakel each adding two assists. Finally, to wrap up pool play, a six-goal first half was enough to down Sault Ste. Marie 6-2. Bryans collected three goals and Rose had two goals and four assists to spark the offence once again. Lewis also found the net.
Other team members include: Emily Alexander, Ally O’Rourke, Erin Bjelan, Katie Brine, Jaci Mitchell and Julia Deck. Craig Hennessey was the head coach, assisted by Emily Neubrand. Dan Mitchell was the trainer.
The Mitchell U-19A team was also given the sportsmanship award, voted on by other teams in their division.