Front Row (left to right): Gillian Verberg-Buchan, Jacinda Bugler, Leah Williams, Kalee Finch, Allison Barnes, Madison Milne, Ainsley Jackson, Michaela Simpson
Back Row (left to right): Matt Kerwin (Coach), Mike Simpson (Assistant Coach), Joanne Millman (Trainer), Darren MacNaughton (Assistant Coach), Aubrey Cole, Vivian Kristjansson, Jenny MacNaughton, Kathleen Kerwin, Taylor Clark, Makenna Barclay, Becka Jackson, Tracy Simpson (Manager), Brad Jackson (Head Coach), Lee Cole (Assistant Coach)
The World Hockey Invite is a prestigious girls ice hockey tournament in Detroit where top premier teams come from all over the world to compete. This past weekend, the Sarnia Jr. Lady Sting Peewee A team competed in 6 games with three double overtime before becoming the U12 A Champions!
The first round robin game was against Detroitís Tier One AAA Little Caesars team who scored the first goal in the 1st period. Forward Allison Barnes countered in the third period with one goal. Despite the girls showing great perseverance and determination, Little Caesars came back in the third to score the winning goal with only 4:53 left on the clock ending the game 2-1. Great effort by the entire team!
For the second round robin game, the girls faced the Buffalo Bisons. Two unanswered goals were scored in the third period one each by Forward teammates Kalee Finch and Leah Williams. The final score was 2-0.
The final game of round robin play was against an Ontario team, the Oakville Hornets. A strong Oakville showing was anticipated but the Sarnia Sting were ready! The first goal was scored in the 2nd period by Forward Jenny MacNaughton. In the 3rd period, a second goal was scored by defence Taylor Clark. The Hornets rallied and despite a goal in the third period with only :42 seconds to go, they were unable to get the win. Sarnia won 2-1.
Moving on to the quarter-finals, the Sarnia Sting would now face the third place team in Pool B after securing a second place finish in Pool A. Detroitís Tier One AAA Compuware proved to be a worthy opponent. The game went to double overtime with a score of 0-0 and finally with only 3:50 left in the 5th period, Forward Leah Williams had the game winning goal advancing the team to the semi-finals. Sarnia advanced with a final score of 1-0.
In the semi-finals, the Sting faced a familiar opponent as the Windsor Wildcats are one of the teamís in the Lower Lakes Peewee A regular season division. Both teams battled hard and each goal resulted in another from the opposing team. The Wildcats began the scoring in the 2nd period. It wasnít until the 3rd period that Forwards Madison Milne and Leah Williams would each score a goal to put Sarnia in the lead. With less than one minute until victory, the Wildcats tied the score with only :27 on the clock. The team continued to battle hard and in the 5th period Forward Leah Williams again beat the goalie scoring the winning goal at 4:43. It was on to the Finals for Sarnia with a final score of 3-2.
One more game and victory would be Sarniaís! In the Championship Game, there was again 2 teams representing Ontario and the opponent was the Scarborough Sharks. Sarnia came with a mission and were relentless from the first drop of the puck to one on one races to every battle along the boards. The first goal was scored in the 2nd period by Forward Madison Milne at :025. The Sharks countered in the 3rd with a goal. For a third time, the game would go to 5 periods and at 4:43 after a breakaway by Captain Leah Williams, she would put the puck top shelf to end the game and secure the win for her team! The final score was 2-1. It was a tremendous effort by the entire team to get the job done!
One MVP was selected for each team after the final game and Leah Williams received this honour for her determination, leadership and outstanding hockey skills. Leah also led the team in scoring with 5 goals and 1 assist.
The coaching staff and families are extremely proud of this very talented group of young ladies who displayed great sportsmanship, integrity and determination in their quest for Gold. Congratulations to the entire team for an outstanding weekend of hockey and their ultimate success!