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U15 Panthers win first game

 Panthers taste victory for first time


   St. Thomas U15s rally with two third period goals for a 2-1 win vs London



  March 7, 2022


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By Rob J. Ross 

ST. THOMAS - One could excuse the passionate celebration post game by the St. Thomas U15 Panthers.

It was their first win of the season and it came with a third period comeback, to edge the London Devilettes, 2-1, Sunday, at the Joe.

Olivia Sutton and Allie Tales scored for the Panthers, after Molly Anderson had given London, a 1-0 lead in the second period.

"We wanted that first win," Panthers' head coach Duane Loebach said. "We've been playing exceptionally well the past three or four games, but this game we seemed to struggle a little bit. We weren't making the plays and the passes weren't crisp in the first two periods. Then in the third period, we came out and we started to turn it on."

Kenzie Clinton and Brooke Buckley-Kreuger, picked up assists on the St. Thomas goals.

The Panthers' only other points, from 15 games played in the Ontario Women's Hockey Association (OWHA) Southern U15 A division, came from three ties.

"We're a very new team. It's been a big learning curve," Loebach said. "They've (players) done a great job trying to figure out everything we've (coaches) thrown at them since the beginning of the year. They're finally starting to round in to form."

Covid and the pause in sports has been a challenge.

"It's been a real tough season, for all teams everywhere. There was no continuity to the season," said Loebach. "We just started to head in the right direction and then covid hit. Then we had to start all over again."

The Panthers missed advancing from their OWHA playdown group. Usually two games against each opponent, this year due to covid, it was only one game against each team.

"Unfortunately for us, we had one bad game in our playoffs," Loebach said. "We played well in the other ones. We didn't come out on the right side of the score board, but we played exceptionally well. Our last game, we had five girls out. We loss 1-0 to London and we had 10 players."

The Panthers have their first win and with four games remaining in the season, it's not too late to string together multiple wins.



    (More photos on Instagram - hometownplay)



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