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Atom B/BB Lady Sting Season Ends at Provincials
 tuesday april 9, 2013


The Sarnia Lady Sting Atom B/BB team travelled to Ottawa this past weekend to take part in the 2013 OWHA hockey Provincials in the Atom BB loop. The girls started the season in the Atom B loop winning their league and the St Thomas Panthers On The Prowl tournament.

The team was re-categorized to a higher division, and with the regular season now complete, the team struggled to find competitive games as the league they were in removes teams from playoffs that are re-categorized. However, they were able to string some exhibition games together against teams from London and Chatham and some local teams too.

They were also able to play in the Walter Gretzky Tournament in Brantford in a A/BB loop and represented themselves very well. The girls worked extremely hard during the months of February and March to prepare themselves for the biggest stage in girls hockey which is the Provincials.

The Atom BB started their journey Friday morning after a long day of travel and came out flying against Clarence Rockland (eventual Gold medalists). The girls dominated the play for almost the entire game and easily outshot their opponent. However, sometimes a goalie can steal a win, and this couldn't have been any closer to the truth. The girls lost the match 2-0 but the score was not even close to what should have been a victory for the Sting.

In the second game of the day and after some much needed breakfast/lunch, the girls met Oakville in the afternoon. A much tighter affair but the Sting were there to make their mark in the tournament. With Oakville drawing a penalty, the Sting put out a power play line and capitalized on the opportunity. Hannah Thompson took the puck the length of the ice down the right hand side and scored a top shelf wrister from inside the hash marks.  After that, the girls played their strong defensive play that has proven to be their greatest success all season.

Abigail Clouse earned her 1st shutout of the tourney which added to her 27 shutouts throughout the season. The defence core of Hannah Thompson, Abbie Williams, Brooke Boelens, Avery Winder, Alex George and Paula Jackson continued their strong play defending their bluelines and helping preserve the low scoring match. Special mention as well to all 3 forward lines that were relentless with their backcheck, forecheck and disciplined defensive zone coverage. Great work and cudos to the forwards; Sydney Rogers, Peri Wilson, Kaylee Clarke, Lindsey Barwitzki, Tori Iacobelli, Jadyn Clark, Brooke( Gus) Lauwers, Maddie Gould and Taylor Coutts( TC).

Friday night the girls were treated to probably the highlight of the weekend which was the World IIHF Womens game, Canada vs Finland. The game was played at Scotiabank Place and what a sight it was. Over 18,000 fans, mostly consisting of girls hockey teams, and loving the game they have learned to play. It was an incredible experience that the girls were talking about all night and the next day.

As Canada dominated the Finland game, so too did the Sting the following morning against a very tough competitor in Durham West. Durham 2 weeks prior to Provincials, competed in the Lower Lakes Championship weekend and lost in the Gold Medal game against Brantford to secure the silver medal. However, the Sting woke up early Sat morning and played the best game of their young careers. The arena was electric due to an amazing fan base which pumped the girls up even more.

With the drop of the puck, it was go time and every loose puck quickly became in our possession. Kaylee Clarke opened the scoring for the Sting with her intense play around the goal mouth and shovelled the puck behind the Durham goalie. Soon after, Jadyn Clark was rewarded for being in the right position out front and one timed a pass from Lindsey Barwitzki from the corner. The third goal was another battle at the goal mouth and once again, Clarkee ( Kaylee) was the recipient of out battling the defence and chipped her 2nd of the game in the net. The 4th and final goal came from Sydney Rogers on a great individual effort from inside the blueline. Syd the Kid made a few nice dekes, cut to the left and buried a shot to the bottom right corner of the net. The girls played outstanding and were rewarded with a 4-0 victory against a great competitor and now advanced to the Quarter finals Sat afternoon.

The Quarter final game was against the Sault Ste. Marie Wildcats, the other Atom B team that was re-categorized by the OWHA to BB. The Sting, once again, came out flying to the cheers of air horns, clappers and screaming fans. In the first period, Hannah Thompson rushed the puck coast to coast, and drove hard to the net. The Sault goalie made a nice save but Hannah stuck around the net making sure any rebound would be hers. Hannah drove the rebound into the mesh and the Sting finished the first period up 1-0. The Wildcats would tie things up early in the 2nd period and shift the momentum going into the 3rd by scoring the go ahead goal late in the 2nd. However, the Sting would never quit, as they showed all year long and peppered the Wildcats goalie with shot after shot. The Wildcats goalie was up to the test and stopped everything we could send her way and even shut down a 5 on 3 opportunity. With 1:30 to go, the Sting would pull their goalie to add the extra attacker. Even with the 6th hungry player on the ice, the Sting could not get the equalizer and lost 2-1. The Wildcats went on to win the Bronze medal.

"It was an emotional loss to say the least as the girls elevated their game to a level they hadn't played all year." said Head Coach Chad Williams. "The coaching staff are so proud of the 16 girls that dedicated their time this year to becoming better hockey players, teammates and overall, incredible young ladies that brought a smile to the rink every day. Congratulations to the Atom BB Lady Jr Sting for putting it all on the ice and emptying the tank. You are all truly exceptional athletes and have years ahead of you in this great sport called HOCKEY!! " You're number 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, you won in our eyes all season long!"






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