From The Peterborough Examiner - Mike Davies
Examiner Article Link
It was a special season for a group of seven- and eight-year-old girls who brought a provincial championship home for the Peterborough Girls Hockey Association. The novice B Ice Kats were the lone PGHA team to win a gold medal at the Ontario Women's Hockey Association championships in Mississauga on the weekend. The senior BB Ice Kats claimed a silver medal (see photograph on Page C2).
The novices were a powerhouse posting an overall record of 60-6-2 including 27-0-1 in Lower Lakes Female Hockey League (LLFHL) East regular season and playoffs. They rebounded from a crushing loss in the LLFHL championship game one week earlier to go 5-0-1 at provincials including rallying from a 3-0 deficit in the semifinals to beat the Markham-Stoufville Stars 4-3. They defeated the Nepean Wildcats 3-1 in the final.
"It was an unforgettable year," said Todd Rogers, an assistant coach to head coach Chris Newmaster. " They played phenomenal all year and to see them come back during games. It's hard to even put into words how impressive it was and how hard they battled."
They hadn't faced much adversity all season so to rebound from the loss in their league final and to rally in the semifinal and final to win showed "the unbelievable heart and drive they had," Rogers said. That loss in the final a week earlier was a motivating factor." They knew what they wanted to do and they battled back to get it," Rogers said. "We talked a lot that people go through their entire hockey career without being the number one team in Ontario. We used that message of 'Hey, you know how you felt last weekend. Do you want that feeling again this weekend? Let's go out and show them what we're made of."
Parents formed a tunnel for the girls to enter the ice for the final and a large group of supporters made it feel like a home game, he said." It was unbelievable the whole entire atmosphere," Rogers said. "When our team came out there was such a roar it made your hair stand up on the back of your neck."
In OWHA pool play the Ice Kats were 2-0-1 starting with a 4-1 win over the Scarborough Sharks. Lily Merrick scored a hat trick with Erica Greco adding a single. Sophie Fife had two assists with singles to Britney Foster, Bella McCue-Coppaway and Kathryn Murphy.
They rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the Ilderton Jets 2-2 in game two. Greco and Fife scored with an assist to Merrick.
They ended pool play with a 5-2 win over the Guelph Jr. Gryphons. Greco scored twice with singles to Fife, Merrick and Claire Chambers. Chambers and Kenzie McIntyre added assists.
In quarter-final action, the Ice Kats beat the Waterloo Ravens 4-1. Audrey Martone, Merrick, Chambers and McCue-Coppaway scored. Lillyan Newmaster and Chambers had assists. They scored four unanswered goals, two in the final two minutes, to rally past the Stars in the semi-final. Greco scored twice with singles to Martone and Chambers. McIntyre, Newmaster and Merrick had assists.
In the final, they beat a Nepean team they had lost to twice in tournament play led by a hat trick from Chambers. Greco had three assists and McCue-Coppaway one. Brea Leahy, who played all six tournament games, got the win in goal."We don't win that final without Brea," Rogers said. "She was outstanding."
It was their second win in three tournaments this season. They won the gold medal at the 21st Orillia Girls Hockey Tournament and finished second at the 34th Kanata Girls Hockey Association Tournament. Team sponsors include Clint's Property Maintenance, Currie Tire and Red X Technology Inc.