floor: Erica Sullivan; Karley Ferguson
2nd l-r - Marty Driver; Mike Hardy; Linda Brandon; Riley Wilhelm; Jenna Rops; Kassie Roache; John Rawlings;
Chantal Caraher; Darian Adams; Shauna McPhail; Emily Williams; Emily Donkers; Amy Rawlings
3rd row - John Rawlings; Beatrice Dufour; McKayla Eves; Leslie Brandon; Sidney Weiss; Mike Rawlings;
Julia Lupton; Chuck Robar; John Regan
The Sarnia Midget AA Lady Sting hockey team captured the 2012 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite Thanksgiving Classic this past weekend. The team opened up the tournament with a 3-1 win against Mississauga Chiefs on Black Friday.
The girls got scored on first at 7:52 of the first period. It was a Disney special where it went up in the air off of the blocker glove of goalie Karley Ferguson, got caught up in her paraphernalia, and then landed on the goal line and spun backwards and in, much to the chagrin of Fergy.
After a scoreless 2nd period and a disallowed goal, the girls came storming back with 3 unanswered goals in the third. First to bulge the twine was Chantal Caraher on a breakaway, unassisted and then she repeated the feat with a great pass from behind the net by Julia Lupton with a helper from Riley Wilhem. The third and final goal was scored on a breakaway by Sidney Weiss after tipping it to herself off the boards and then poking it past the defender busting in and shooting it bar down.
Game 2 with Scarborough was a penalty filled affair with the referees throwing out two parents from the eastern Toronto borough and ended in a 4-0 score for Sarnia. First on the scoreboard was Emily Donkers on the onetimer off the draw from Darian Adams 3 seconds into a power play. Weiss scored next on a great outlet pass and assist from goalie Ferguson (aiding her own shutout) to McKayla Eves who set up the breakaway. Adams would score the next goal from Riley Wilhelm on a beautiful two way passing play. The final tally was from defenseman Shauna McPhail from Caraher and her defensive partner Leslie Brandon.
Game 3 was a wakeup call for the girls, literally they were up at 6:30 am. The opponents were from Guelph who trailed most of the game after an opening goal from Beatrice Dufour who broke in on the Thunder netminder and slammed in a backhander. Assists went to Eves and Weiss. Guelph then scored on a broken play in the third, which they capitalized on and then followed with a disputed power play goal with 50 seconds left to shock the Lady Sting with a 2-1 loss.
The pressure was now on because the girls faced elimination in the next game if they didnít win. The competition was the hometown Pittsburgh Penguin Elite and in attendance was Magnificent Mario Lemieux who took time out to have pictures taken with some of the hockey moms. The girls were undaunted by the presence of the big man and came out successful with a 4-1 victory.
Goals were scored in the first by Lupton and Weiss with assists going to Wilhelm and defenseman Jenna Rops. Ferguson was beaten in the second to pull the Penguins within one but Sarnia went up by two on a goal by Weiss unassisted coming in on the left wing beating the goalie to the right side. Weiss then set up Adams for a one-timer to give an opportunity for Erica Sullivan to enter the game and test her legs after missing her normal start with a bout of the flu. She made a great blocker save late and was ready to start the semi-final on Sunday morning.
Up again were the Mississauga team and the church bells were ringing as Kassie Roache and Amy Rawlings clanged two off of the post and crossbar. A clean game had the Chiefs up first with a goal in the second narrowly beating Sullivan who got her first start of the tournament with a stellar performance. Dufour shot one on the power play from the right point to the top right corner with an assist to Emily Donkers. After incredible pressure from the Sting in the third, the game went to overtime. However both teams took late penalties and would therefore play 3 on 3 for the first two minutes of the five minute overtime.
After many chances with 8 shots in OT, including a close call by Rawlings, the game went to penalty shots. First up was Weiss who went in close and deked putting it into the breadbasket of the goalie. At the other end Sullivan made a great save. Next was Caraher who was equally unsuccessful while Sully held her own. Roache was next on the docket trying a deke but was stopped on the line. At the other end Sully stoned the captain of Mississauga. Finally on the first overtime penalty shot Darian Adams came swooping in from the left-hand side and let a hard shot go, so hard that when the goalie stopped it, the puck continued to propel up the goalieís arm, over her shoulder and off of the helmet into the back of the net. With Sullivanís great stop at the opposite end of these simultaneous penalty shots, it took the team a second or two to know that it was finally over.
To the final and London, our Hwy. 402 friends. The game was a close checking affair which prompted the refs to call numerous stick infractions against the Lady Sting. At the end of a penalty to Rawlings, Jenna Rops received a nifty pass from Darian Adams and fired it past the screened London goalie for what would prove to be the winner and a 1-0 lead. Ferguson had returned to the pipes, after a spectacular semi by Sullivan, and stood on her head with great protection from her defense. Weiss would close off the tournament with a shot from half into an empty net with one second left on the clock. The injured captain Emily Williams joined the team on the ice for the gold medal ceremony. STING WIN
The team represented our city very well in the local venues, the hotel and especially on the ice. Congrats girls.