Rocky Mountain Raiders bring home bronze
WEYBURN, Sask. – It was an emotional day for the Brantford Ice Cats, going from pre-game tears knowing this would be their last tilt as a team, to post-game elation as Imperial’s Scott Neufeld handed over the Esso Cup to the 2016 National Female Midget Champions.
“I have chills right now to hear that,” said head coach Garth Rickwood speaking to reporters after the team’s on-ice celebration had abated. “Team. That word really signifies this group. They just stood there for each other, all the time. The chemistry – it’s just such a great group to be around.”
All week long, the team match-ups remained close, with the majority of games being decided by one or two goals. Following an explosive start by the Express du Richelieu, who led 2-1 after the first 20 minutes of play, the Ice Cats’ offense took over, putting 41 shots on net – 10 of which went in. At the end of the third period, the scoreboard read 10-3 in favour of the team from Ontario.
“We ran out of gas,” said Express du Richelieu head coach Michel Dubé. “We will forget this game, but remember this week as an unforgettable and positive experience. It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
The 10 goals scored by Brantford doubled the record set by the winning team in the gold-medal game; the Westman Wildcats (2009), Notre Dame Hounds (2011), and LHFDQ Nord (2013) all scored five goals in their wins.
Taylor Trussler (Kitchener, Ont.) led the way with a goal and four assists. Kayla Bailey (Cambridge, Ont.) and Nicole Kelly (Brantford, Ont.) each had two goals and two assists. Brooklyn Gemmill (Cambridge, Ont.) added a pair of goals, while singles were scored by team captain Paige Rynne (Ancaster, Ont.), Lauren Martin (Cambridge, Ont.), and Chenelle Caron-Godon (Brantford, Ont.).
Rocky Mountain Raiders defeat Saskatoon Stars 3-0 to earn bronze
The 2016 Esso Cup top goaltender, Kate Lloyd (Chestermere, Alta.) earned her first shutout of the week as her Rocky Mountain Raiders rebounded from a tough loss in Friday’s semifinal to earn bronze.
“It feels good to bring [a medal] home,” said Lloyd. “None of us ever expected to make it this far. Nobody ever expected us to come to nationals, let alone come out with a medal. We were blocking a lot of shots, which is great – makes my job a lot easier.”
The Saskatoon Stars went all season without being shut out, then were blanked in their final two games despite nearly matching the Raiders in shots-on-goal in the bronze-medal game.
Hanna Matchett (Nanton, Alta.), Breanne Trotter (Okotoks, Alta.), and Hailey McCallum (Strathmore, Alta.) scored the three Raiders’ goals.