They Are the Champions! Prep Hockey Girls Work Overtime to Claim CISAA Crown
In a tremendous series that put on full display just how good school based hockey has become, our Prep Hockey Girls overcame a hostile environment and multiple flustering moments to find a sudden victory goal to claim Ridley’s third CISAA Division I Championship!
It has been a frenetic end to the hockey season for the Prep Girls that started with multiple team members returning from Red Deer and the Canada Games just hours before a do or die CISAA semifinal with Nichols in Buffalo on Monday. The team did not skip a beat, however, and after giving up an early goal the Tigers rallied for a convincing 4-1 victory to set up a very familiar match up for the CISAA Championship with Appleby.
Game one of the series at Ridley demonstrated just how competitive this match up would be as the traditional rivals were deadlocked 0-0 after 45 minutes of regulation play. It was not until overtime when Teagan Iwanowich-Rae let loose a powerful wrister from the point that the score was broken and the Tigers took the series lead 1-0.
Appleby having earned home ice advantage would now host both game two and if needed, a sudden victory overtime to determine the DI champion. Game two started right where game one left off. Two very even teams in a fierce physical battle playing at break neck speed. Appleby found the first goal of the match in the first and the Tigers thought that they had found the equalizer moments later when a curious referee conversation just prior to puck drop lead to a lengthy delay and ultimately a reversal of the good goal call. Knowing nothing is ever easy in Oakville, the Tigers persevered and continued to push the pace. The second period continued the same fantastic brand of hockey and the home side found another opportunity to take a 2-0 lead into the third period. Late in the final stanza with goaltender Loranger on the bench for the extra attacker, the Orange and Black found the breakthrough they had been looking for to cut the Appleby lead to 2-1, but more importantly turn the momentum completely in Ridley's favour. The third period would end 2-1 for Appleby, tying the series 1-1 and setting up a 10 minute 4 on 4 overtime to decide the Ratcliffe Cup winner.
Seizing their momentum advantage, fewer than three minutes into the extra period, an Avery Penner shot may have hit three different players before finding the back of the Appleby net. The ensuing celebration was epic as the girls realized they had earned the schools third CISAA DI Championship and the celebration was on! This is a tremendous achievement for this incredible group of young women ably lead by Head Coach Amanda Wark and her Assistants Celeste Doucet, Courtney Smith and Stephanie Delaney.
The Girls get very little time to absorb the accomplishment as they board the bus Thursday morning to make their way to Burlington Vermont and the Junior Women’s Hockey League Championships.
Congratulations, best of luck, and thank you Tigers! We are so proud of you!