Cascades Peewees also headed to year-end tournament in Toronto next month
By Pat Payton
The stakes were high Sunday night at the PRC.
In front of a large crowd, the Hubbard Pharmacy Midget ‘B’ girls and Stratford Aces faced off in a showdown to determine which team would earn a spot in the year-end Provincials early next month in Toronto.
Bill McPhail’s Hubbard Midgets needed a win or a tie, while the Aces needed a win. St. Marys went into the game with four points, while Stratford had three. The Huron Heat were the other team involved in a three-team, round-robin OWHA playoff series. With just one win and two points, the Heat had already been eliminated.
With only one team qualifying, it came down to Sunday’s outcome and who would represent this region at the Provincials. The Hubbard squad left no doubt that they were the better team on this night as they skated to a well-deserved 3-0 victory over the Aces. They turned in a full, 32-minute effort.
“I’m pretty proud of the girls; they came and played hard,” coach McPhail told the Independent. “And Kayley (Thompson) did her thing and got us the shutout.”
Apply strong pressure
McPhail said the game plan was to apply strong pressure all over the ice.
“We wanted to be right on top of them and win all the races,” he said. “We wanted to be the hunter and not the hunted, and it worked. We got some good shots and rebound chances and buried them tonight.”
Three minutes into the second period, Vanessa Vernooy scored what proved to be the game winner from Emily Shrubsole. Julia Cameron cashed in a rebound at the 7:21 mark, making it 2-0. Assists went to Abbie Kennedy and Ally Muir.
Emma Bentley tacked on another insurance goal with 5:36 remaining in the third. Shrubsole and Meghan Keene picked up assists.
With a four-minute powerplay late in the game, Stratford coach Jeremy Brock twice pulled his goaltender for a 6-on-4 advantage. The Rock worked hard to preserve the shutout for Thompson and almost scored into the empty Aces’ net a couple of times.
McPhail said it “feels good” to be taking his team to the Provincials, Apr. 3-5.
“I’m happy for Kayley Thompson and Ally Muir,” he said. “They’re my two 17-year-olds and it’s their last year in Midget. “Twelve of my girls are 15-year-olds and the other two are 16-year-olds. We hope to end it on a positive note.”
Win 2-1 in Stratford
In the first meeting between the two teams last Monday, March 2, the Hubbard Midgets defeated the Aces 2-1 in Stratford to improve their series record to 2-1.
Goals by Julia Cameron and Maddie Aarts–just 31 seconds apart early in the second period–staked St. Marys to a 2-0 lead. Aces scored their lone goal with six minutes remaining in the third.
Thompson posted the win in net. “It was a good, fast game; everybody came to play,” coach McPhail reported.
Cascades Peewees also off to Provincials
The St. Marys Cascades Peewee ‘C’ girls are also off to the Provincials next month in Toronto.
Last Thursday night at the PRC, Scott Richardson’s squad punched their ticket to the year-end championship tournament with a 3-1 victory over the Stratford Aces.
The Cascades Peewees were involved in a four-team, home-and-home, OWHA round-robin playoff series with Stratford, Wingham/Lucknow and South Huron — with the top two teams advancing to the Provincials.
On Thursday, the Peewee Rock scored the game’s final two goals in the third period to pull out the victory.
Charlee Pickering scored two goals for St. Marys, including one into an empty Stratford net in the final minute to seal the win. Charlotte Richardson had the other goal for the home team. Her late third-period marker snapped a 1-1 tie and proved to be the winner.
The net win went to Marta Rintoul. “She’s been playing well,” assistant coach Jeff Richardson said.
After tying the first two games of the round-robin series, the Cascades Peewees won the next three games. They completed their series of six games last Friday at the PRC, settling for a 2-2 tie with Wingham/Lucknow. Charlotte Richardson and Valentina Linares scored for the Rock, and Rintoul went the distance in net.
St. Marys picked up a total of nine points in the series.