QUEBEC CITY, Que.
– Heading into the final, the question remained whether Ontario Blue – the
only team to come into Sunday with a perfect 4-0 record – could thwart
Ontario Red’s quest for a fourth-consecutive gold medal.
After 20 minutes of play, the answer remained unclear as the teams headed
into the first intermission tied 1-1. Alexa Hoskin (Belleville,
Ont./Kingston, PWHL) opened the scoring, recording Ontario Blue’s lone goal
of the game at 3:26 of the first period. Sarah Fillier (Georgetown,
Ont./Oakville, PWHL) evened things up at 15:19 of the opening frame.
Ontario Red took the momentum early in the second period, with tournament
MVP Fillier assisting on a goal by Jacqueline Tam (Toronto,
Ont./Mississauga, PWHL) at 1:16.
“We battled through a lot of adversity this [week], but we really stuck
together as a team – especially in the second period, we came together. The
energy on the bench definitely helped us,” said Fillier of the gold-medal
game. “I have no words to describe [what I was thinking when the buzzer
sounded]. It’s just an amazing feeling, especially to do it again this
year, and with a great, great group of girls too.”
Lauren Bellefontaine (Kemptville, Ont./Nepean, PWHL) scored the final goal
of the game at 11:44 of the second with Zoe Boyd (Caledon East,
Ont./Mississauga, PWHL) recording the assist. Meanwhile, Madelyn McArthur
(St. Catharines, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) stopped 25 shots to earn the win; she
was named Top Goaltender of the tournament.
The other tournament award winners include:
Top Forward: Nicole Kelly, Ontario Blue;
Top Defenceman: Courtney Vorster, British Columbia
Most Sportsmanlike Player: Taylor Kirwan, Saskatchewan.
British Columbia edges Saskatchewan for bronze
Sixty minutes were not enough to decide the 2017 National Women’s
Under-18 Championship bronze-medallist.
The 2016 bronze-medallist, British Columbia, leveraged a power-play
opportunity in overtime to earn back-to-back bronze, with Rylind
MacKinnon’s (Cranbrook, B.C./Northern Alberta, CSSHL) shot from the point
beating a red-hot Jordan Ivanco (Saskatoon, Sask./Saskatoon, SFMAAAHL), who
faced 48 shots for Saskatchewan.
“It was another exciting one, wasn’t it?” laughed B.C. head coach Graham
Thomas following his team’s overtime win. “Both teams played really hard,
and there were good chances both ways. I give Saskatchewan a lot of credit
– they play hard, they play well, they play a good team game, and they’ve
got a great goalie as well. It was intense, it was fun to be a part of, and
I’m really proud of our group to show their resiliency and not panic, have
some composure. Because when a goalie’s really hot and tough to score on,
sometimes it can allow you to break down a little bit. We did a good job of
staying disciplined and focused through all of that.”
MacKinnon, who attributed her on-ice chemistry with captain Courtney
Vorster (Richmond, B.C./Shattuck-St. Mary’s, USHS) – who, along with Danika
Pasqua (Langley, B.C./Pacific, JWHL), assisted on the game-winner – for her
performance at the championship.
Jenna Buglioni (Port Moody, B.C./Greater Vancouver, BCFMAAA) scored B.C.’s
regulation-time goal at nine minutes of the second frame, while Saskatchewan’s
Miranda Hatt (Regina/Regina, SFMAAAHL) tied the game up at one apiece at
19:32 of the second period.
Saskatchewan heads home with a historic performance of its own, becoming
the first team from that province to play in the semifinal and bronze-medal