Experienced teams beat both Parkside and Dorchester in WOSSAA girls' hockey
gold medal finals while St. Joe's finishes with bronze
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
By Rob J. Ross
LONDON, ON. - The Parkside Stampeders were stopped by a dynasty, while the Dorchester Beaver met another formidable foe with provincial success.
Both the Parkside and Dorchester teams finished the girls' hockey season as Western Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association (WOSSAA) finalists, one win short of an OFSAA appearance.
Parkside fell 4-1, to the Arva Medway Cowboys in the WOSSAA AAA final, Tuesday, at Stronach arena. The Cowboys are the reigning two-time OFSAA champions, who have now won the WOSSAA title for six consecutive years.
Kendra Hulst scored the lone Parkside goal.
Dorchester scored first in the WOSSAA A/AA gold medal game, Monday, at Stronach arena, but saw the Clinton St. Anne's Eagles reply with six unanswered goals, for a 6-1 win.
St. Anne's defends their WOSSAA crown and returns to OFSAA, hoping this year to win the gold medal game. Rockland L'Escale, just east of Ottawa, beat St. Anne's in the 2018 final.
For the Beavers, it is their best season in girls' hockey, which includes winning the Thames Valley Regional Athletics (TVRA) South-East title.
"This is our first loss the whole season. Silver medal at WOSSAA, that's great," Dorchester head coach Richard Cracknell said. "(St. Anne's) coach said we're the strongest offensive team they faced all year. From that point of view, I feel we've done a really good job."
Emma McKnight opened the scoring for Dorchester, before St. Anne's Payton Kerr and Hannah Tait, struck 43 seconds apart, for a 2-1 lead, after one period.
Special teams proved a turning point in the second period. After the Beavers failed to capitalize on a power play that stretched over two periods, the Eagles scored with their man advantage and then stunned the Beavers with Lindsey Merner's short-handed marker, stretching their lead to 4-1.
Tait finished with two goals and two assists, while Jaymee Nolan had two goals and one assist. Allison Stevenson also scored.
"At the end of the day, they gave it their all, left it all on the ice. A great group of players," said Cracknell, who is in his final year of teaching at Dorchester. "I couldn't think of a better way to retire."
It may be the first time Dorchester has played St. Anne's, but several players know each other well. Dorchester's McKnight, Victoria Quance and Hannah Vickers and St. Anne's Tait, Nolan and goalie Jamie Johnson, are teammates on the London Devilettes' junior team. They reunite on Friday for game one of their Provincial Women's Hockey League playoff series against Whitby.
Earlier in the A/AA semifinals, Dorchester edged the St. Joseph's Rams, 6-5, with McKnight scoring the decisive goal, with 21 seconds remaining in the third period.
Quance and Brooke Henshaw, both with two goals and Vickers, one, also scored for Dorchester, to advance to the school's first WOSSAA gold medal game in girls' hockey.
"It was a really, really good game," Rams' coach Dave Fox. "They (Beavers) have some really skilled players and our girls matched up with them really well. We did a pretty good job keeping them to the outside. The story of that game was probably our goaltender. She had 50 shots and none of them were easy. She kept us in that game.
Anna Fox, Grace Gillet, Alyce McLean, Kayla Caeiro and Rachelle Charron, replied for the Rams.
Rams win bronze
St. Joe's left a heart-breaker behind in the semifinals, to win the bronze medal, crushing London South, 8-1.
"We would have liked to have played in the game medal game obviously but to come away from WOSSAA with a medal is an accomplishment," said Fox. "It says a lot about the team and how well they've done this season."
Gillet and Claire VanBommell, each with two goals and Jocelyn Delgado with a goal and three assists, led the Rams. Brianna Caeiro, Grace Dodgson and Jamie Giles also potted goals.