RINGETTE GOLD FOR U14 ICE CRUSHERS IN NIAGARA FALLS, News, U14 Tween, 2015-2016 (Goderich Ringette)

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Submitted By D. Ridsdale on Thursday, March 10, 2016

Ice Crushers arrived at the Gale Centre in Niagara Falls knowing that their first opponent was the first place Oshawa Storm from the Ontario Central Region Ringette League who had only lost one game all season.

Both teams traded quality chances early on as Goderich goalie, Hannah K., made it clear that she had brought her "A" game. Katie R. was the recipient of a fantastic set up from line mates Arden B. and Michaela A. to give Goderich the early lead 3 minutes into the game. The Storm squared the affair, but, Lauren S. took a pass from Kiara P. eleven seconds later to restore the lead. With things tied once again, and, some close checking by both teams, veteran Crusher Sarah S. gave the locals a lead that they would never relinquish on a nice feed from Hannah G. Lauren S. scored again to extend the lead just before the break with assists going to Melanie M. and Ella W.

Ben C. made it 5-2 to start the final frame after an awesome effort from line mates Grace T. and Avery C. Oshawa made a strong push forcing Hannah K. to make several key saves to keep the score at 5-3. After Sarah S. buried her second tally, Michaela A. set up Ben C. again to extend the lead to four allowing the stalwart defensive pairing of Grace M. and Megan K. to breathe a sigh of relief.

The Ice Crushers final goal came on an excellent three zone passing play from Lauren S. to Sarah S. and to Hannah G. who left the helpless Storm players with an 8-4 loss, and, their coach wondering what had just happened. After a team dinner at Mick & Angelo's complete with some harmonious "table rhythm sounds", the team settled in for the evening to prepare for their next game versus their league rival Tillsonburg Twisters.

 Crushers Earn Gold Medal Berth

After a full day of sightseeing and water parks, the U14 Ice Crushers had some serious business to take care of on the Saturday evening portion of the Niagara Falls Daredevil Ringette Tournament as they faced a familiar Western Region foe in the Tillsonburg Twisters. Lauren S. put the Crushers on the board one minute into the game after some good effort from Hannah G. Katie R. then scored her first of two goals of the game courtesy of the relentless work of Arden B. and Michaela A. Sarah S. put Goderich ahead by a pair, but, the Twisters battled back to score on Hannah K. to make it 3-2. Young gun, Grace T., deposited her first of two on a nifty feed from Ben C. followed by another Lauren S. tally to give Goderich a 5-3 lead at the break.
The Arden B.-Katie R. connection extended the lead, but, the resilient Twisters made it 6-4 shortly thereafter. Lauren S. completed the hat trick just before Grace T. gave the Crushers an 8-4 lead on a nice setup from Kiara P.

Tillsonburg continued to play hard scoring two late goals to make things interesting, but, the Ice Crushers were well deserving of this 8-6 victory.
Goderich 4 vs. Forest Extreme 4

The U14's entered their final round robin game knowing that they already were playing Oshawa for the gold medal a few hours later. Playing without standout veteran forward Sarah S., who suffered a tournament ending knee injury, the Crushers came out very flat for this early morning game versus their Western Region rival. If not for the spectacular play of net minder Hannah K., this game could have been out of reach very early. Forest finally solved Hannah K. in the final minute before the break, and, proceeded to build what appeared to be an insurmountable 4-0 lead just four minutes into the final period. 

Hannah G. provided a spark for Goderich with seven minutes to play. Just over a minute later, Katie R. cut the deficit in half with assists going to Michaela A. and Ella W. Fifteen seconds later, Arden B. scored a highlight reel goal to put the locals within one with assists going to Katie R. and Kiara P. The Crushers completed their amazing comeback with just over three minutes remaining as Hannah K. started a goalie ring which ended up on Hannah Gs' stick who expertly fed Lauren S. for the goal. Coach Simon Taylor praised the Goderich effort commenting on how much heart and resilience the team showed in battling back.

Ice Crushers Win Gold!!! Goderich 6 vs. Oshawa 4

The Crushers knew that their rematch versus the Oshawa Storm was going to be a very difficult challenge as the Central Region leaders came in riding two consecutive wins to qualify for the final. Hannah K., and, her Storm counterpart were both excellent early and often. Oshawa opened the scoring, building a 2-0 lead with just under five minutes to play in the opening period. The line of Avery C., Grace T., and, Ben C. spurred their team on with a relentless shift in the Oshawa end hitting three goal posts, and, creating a ton of confidence with their effort. Lauren S. finally solved the stingy Storm triangle firing a laser beam off of a Grace M. feed. With 1:32remaining, Arden B. expertly slid the tying goal over the goal line as Katie R. and Michaela A. assisted.

Thirty seconds into the final frame, Hannah G. gave the Ice Crushers their first lead following another great centre pass from Grace M. Kiara P. extended the lead when she “juked’ in from her defensive position to bury a goal. The Storm responded a few minutes later to narrow the margin to 4-3, but, Lauren S. brought the sold out Gale Centre crowd to their feet at the 6:26 mark when she converted a pass from Hannah G.

The Crushers received some feisty play from some unlikely players as the fiercely competitive Michaela A. followed up a thunderous check by Melanie M. with a rough and tumble shift of her own serving notice that these U14 players were all in. Kiara P. scored again with1:25 to play on another fabulous effort from her defensive position. Oshawa scored with just under a minute remaining, but, Megan K. and Ella W. weathered the Storm as the buzzer sounded on an Ice Crusher 2016 Gold Medal victory celebration.

The team now have a few weeks of practice as they prepare for the W.R.R.L. Regional Championships in London over the Easter Weekend.

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