Terrace Kermodes uncover Bantam gold
The Terrace Kermodes smothered the North Shore Avalanche 2-1 in the gold-medal final of the B.C. Bantam A Female Hockey Championships Wednesday night at the Wesbild Centre.
Terrace avenged a round-robin loss to the Avalanche with steadfast defence, a hot goalie and some clutch scoring. Kelsey Roberts was named player of the game with 36 saves.
“We were really nervous because we lost to them earlier, but it was a close game so we knew if we came out hard we had a chance to beat them,” said Roberts, who made a huge stop on Avalanche captain Mika Embury, on a breakaway 90 seconds into the final.
“I felt really nervous at the start, but after I made those first few saves, I got into the swing of the game,” she added.
North Shore controlled play for most of the first period, but the Terrace defence kept clearing pucks. Taylor Beck opened the scoring in the first minute of the second after a face-off win, converting on a Sedin-like slap pass in the high slot, to the far side.
North Shore kept pressing and equalized on a powerplay late in the second. Tianna Lopes walked out of the corner uncontested and went backhand, stick-side.
Just one minute later, Terrace responded with 1:38 left in the second. Myah Bowel won a battle in the corner and put the puck in front for Marissa Nichol, who one-timed a beauty off the cross bar, past Avalanche goalie Alexandra Gulstene.
“It was awesome,” said a gushing Nichol, moments after the win. “Top shelf. I’ve dreamed about doing that. It’s such a great feeling.”
The Avalanche did not let up and kept the puck pinned in the Terrace zone.
Said Nichol: “It was so nerve-wracking, knowing that you are only one goal ahead and they could score at any minute, but we worked so hard all year and we knew what to do.”
Terrace was outshot 37-24 but their defence held the most potent offensive team in the nine-team tournament to only one goal by allowing very few chances in the slot and forcing the speedy Avalanche forwards to the outside all night.
In the bronze-medal game, Olivia Alexander (1+2) scored at 5:31 of the third to cap a thrilling comeback 5-3 victory for the Juan de Fuca Royals over the Tri-Cities Predators.
Alexander took a pass from Haylie Choo, and wristed a shot from the top of the circle through the d-man, far side just above the goalie’s pad. Olivia Ramos (1+2) carried the offensive load for the Predators (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody).
In earlier semifinals, Terrace shut down Tri-Cities 4-0 and North Shore grounded Juan de Fuca 6-1.
Roberts recorded 25 saves as the Kermodes blanked the Predators. Goals came from Nichol, Deborah Wraight, Bowel and Bailey Kasum.
North Shore got snipes from Devon Wood (2), Maegan Beres, Mika Embury, Cassandra Wakefield and Lopes. Olivia Alexander countered for the Royals.
The Vernon Sladen Moore Lakers (0-3-1) finished the provincials with a 5-2 loss to the Royals Tuesday night.
Play was end to end with Juan de Fuca holding a 33-20 shot advantage. Both teams took 12 minutes in penalties. The Royals scored first at 18:40 of the opening period with Alexander connecting, from Raye Yasaki.
Andie Kaneda of the Lakers answered back with assists going to Jenna Fletcher and Olivia Comeau. The Royals then reeled off four unanswered goals with Alexander netting a deuce. Hunter Joseph, unassisted, supplied the last Laker goal.
Meanwhile, the Salmon Arm Silvertips ended up 2-2-1 at the B.C. Midget A Female Championships in Richmond.
The Silvertips, who have nine Vernon players, lost 6-2 to the Cranbrook Ice in their last game Wednesday. Lisa Campeau of Vernon had one of the Silvertips’ goals.
Salmon Arm stopped Tr-Cities 3-1 Tuesday afternoon with Jenna Lazar and Molly Box, both of Vernon, each getting 1+1.
The Tips tied Surrey 2-2 and fell 5-1 to the Richmond Ravens in Monday action. Campeau registered both goals versus Surrey with Lazar and Box each earning one helper. Campeau drew the assist on Maddison Turner’s goal against Richmond.
Salmon Arm opened the six-team affair by ambushing the Smithers Ragged Ice 5-1 with Box and Cassidy Marshall of Vernon pocketing goals. Danielle Butler and Hannah Scherck, both of Vernon, and Lazar, had assists.
Richmond brushed off Tri-Cities 5-3 for the gold medal.
Ashley Tinney, Jess Murphy, Britany Jackson and Kylie Assi, all of Vernon, also helped the Tips.