Photos courtesy of Cody Angus @tbayalive on Twitter
One of the last events SSSAA hosted prior to the first COVID-19 lockdown was the first ever Girls’ Hockey Tournament. The 2020 event marked a return to the ice for SSSAA, the first time since 1994, when the Westgate Tigers, took the last SSSAA Boys’ Hockey title. In 2020, the Tigers Girls took the inaugural championship collecting wins over two different St. Patrick’s entries in the playoff rounds.
The Westgate Tigers Girls came from one goal down and overcame their only round robin loss by topping the Hammarskjold/Superior team 2-1 on Thursday afternoon, defending their 2020 title. The 2022 Girls’ Hockey Championship ran March 23-24 at Delaney Arena. The games were competitive and all four entries were very evenly matched.
On opening day, Westgate stood atop the standings with a pair of shut outs over St. Ignatius and St. Patrick. In the opener, Kiera Stokaluk scored a goal in every period and Mykaila George stopped 22 for a Tigers 4-0 shut out over the Falcons. Sophia Delorme stopped 27 in the loss for St. Ignatius.
Makara Magbanua scored a pair and picked up an assist in a 4-0 Hammarskjold/Superior victory over St. Patrick. The game came down to who could convert their chances better as both teams had good looks at goal. Shots finished 21-19 for Hammarskjold/Superior. Abby Wills nabbed a shut out, while Ashlynn Lauzon took a tough loss for the Saints.
The afternoon session seen the Falcons come back with four unanswered goals in a 5-3 win. Hammarskjold/Superior were in control of the game after Avery Olenik broke a 1-1 tie and Rhae Thomas made it 3-1 late in the second. Grace Fitzpatrick answered back late in the second to give the Falcons a chance in the third. Just 1:16 in Fitzpatrick’s second notch tied the game. Ella Faunt scored on the power play 1:35 later to take the lead for good. Paige Fucile put the icing on the cake with a late one adding to an earlier assist. Sophia Delorme made 15 saves for the win, while Abby Wills stopped 22 in the loss.
The Saints fought hard but could not overcome the goaltending of Joella Brosseau in a 2-0 loss to Westgate to end day one. Kiera Stokaluk, who could not be stopped, pocketed her fourth goal of tournament day one. Summer Bagley iced the game with an empty netter with 55 seconds left. Brosseau stopped 18 for the bagel, while Ria Slomke’s 26 save effort was for not in the loss.
At the end of day one, the round robin had two games left and everyone remained alive for a gold medal game birth. Westgate was in the driver’s seat at 2-0, with St. Ignatius and Hamm/Superior in the running at 1-1. St. Patrick remained alive for the gold medal game at 0-2, but needing a victory against their north side Catholic Board rivals and some help in the last round robin game to qualify.
It was not the start the Saints were looking for as they found themselves down 4-1 after the first in game one of the day to the Falcons. Needing a win to reach the Gold Medal game themselves, St. Ignatius exchanged goals in the next two periods to hold on to a 6-3 win. The Falcon attack was led by two goals each from Paige Broughton and Kallie Hryciw. Hryciw had 3 assists for a 5-point game and Broughton added an assist for a 3-point morning. Chloe Allam, Julia Curtis and Tryniti Kruger all got on the scoresheet for the Saints. Sophia Delorme stopped 11 Saints shots in a big third period effort as part of an 19 save victory. Ashlynn Lauzon stopped 17 in the loss.
Given the tiebreaker rules (goal differential in games between the tied teams), the Falcons had to add a Tiger cheering section to the last game as only a Westgate win or a tie in the last round robin game would book a St. Ignatius ticket to the final. It wasn’t to be for the Falcons and their fans as Hammarskjold/Superior’s Abby Wills would steal the show and stop all 20 Tiger shots on the way to a 2-0 win. Samantha Cicigoi’s opener with 2:18 left in the first was the winner while Avery Olenik would pot the other goal in the second. Joella Brosseau stopped 21 shots in the Tigers first loss. With that, the medal round would be rematches of the last two games of the day.
Bronze Medal Game
St. Patrick would score first on Victoria Posselwhite’s first of the tourney. That was all Falcons Goalie Sophia Delorme would allow as she would stop 21 and the offense would come alive in a 5-1 win. Jenna Jackson would tie it midway through the first and Kali Bragnalo would give the Falcons the lead after one. Paige Broughton’s third goal of the day, with 6:37 left stretched the lead and Victoria Arnone’s power play tally put it out of reach three minutes later. Jackson would add her second of the game to round out the scoring. Ria Slomke stopped 17 in the loss.
Gold Medal Game
The final showcased a cagey and somewhat physical affair. Makara Magbanua scored the opener on an odd-man rush with 30 seconds left on their opening power play, beating Mykaila George with a wrister. Avery Olenik and Jesse McKay picked up assists on the opening marker. Mya Steele looked to the point and Emily Bragnalo scored a seeing eye shot through Abby Wills to tie the game just 23 seconds into the second period. Kara Van Elburg picked up the other assist. Beth Gagnon in the middle of a scramble scored the heartbreaking winner, with just 2:34 left. Her effort just squeaked by Wills and it stood as the Gold Medal winner. Mykaila George made 15 saves for the win, while Wills had 22 stops in the loss.