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Submitted By Allison Frigon on Monday, November 9, 2015
 Yes ringette fans the 2015/16 season is upon us and our U16A girls were in full flight at the first tournament of the year in Oshawa. This year’s jump to the U16 division brought back 3 familiar faces in Avery See, Alanna Hunnie and Natalie Reed and these second year girls match up well with last year’s U14 graduates including; Victoria Young, Jenna Vecchio, Shelby Campbell, Shelbey Walker, Mackenzie Wood-Salomon, Zoey Campbell and defensively Avy Bowman, Kayla Simms, Isabelle Baril and Katelyn Stocks. Alyssa Desgagne as always will be between the pipes for what promises to be an exciting season.

Our first game of the tournament Friday morning matched our girls up against the tournament host Oshawa Storm and from the opening whistle the Ice Hawks were on form limiting the oppositions time and space as well as taking advantage of their own opportunities in the offensive zone. The Sault opened up a commanding 4-0 lead in the first period on two tallies from Jenna Vecchio and singles from Zoey Campbell and Natalie Reed. The second period was much of the same as the Ice Hawks had no letup in them and pushed passed two goals from Avery See with another from Zoey Campbell and a final tally from Alanna Hunnie to round out the scoring at 8-0. As has been our custom, the defense was up to the task and the goaltending was stellar and Alyssa Desgagne had her first shutout of the year.

The tournament’s second game was the first of two games against a pair of scrappy teams from GCRA…the Friday afternoon affair was a hard fought match up that saw 22 total minutes in penalties handed out but it was the Sault that got out to the early lead at the 10 minute mark of the first period on a goal from Zoey Campbell, assisted by Shelbey Walker. The GCRA Devils responded though before the end of the first to tie the game at the half.  The second period was a back and forth battle in which GCRA scored the only goal of the period to take the game 2-1.

Saturday morning brought the other GCRA team to the Legend Centre and we were back into another hard fought contest. The Devils would score first before the game was 5 minutes old and though the Ice Hawk girls had their chances we were unable to score in the first and trailed the game 1-0 after the opening period.  The girls caught a spark barely a minute into the second period and back to back tallies from Alanna Hunnie and Avery See put us out front 2-1. An insurance goal from Shelbey Walker to close out the scoring gave us a 3-1 win and 4 points for the tournament thus far.

Saturday afternoon’s challenge came from the Mustangs of Mississauga who heading into the contest had an identical 2-1 record with both teams needing a win in order to see the playoff round on Sunday morning.  In what was our most penalized game of the tournament the Ice Hawks gave up two 2 man advantages in the first period and were fortunate to only trail 1-0 at the end of 15 minutes. Credit the toughness of our goaltender Alyssa Desgagne and the defensive pairings of Katelyn Stocks with Isabelle Baril and Avy Bowman with Kayla Simms who held the fort and gave our girls a chance to turn the game around in the second half. The second period brought much of the same and the defense was called upon to keep it close until the halfway point of the period when the offence would once again pull through on goals from Avery See, Natalie Reed and Victoria Young to take the contest 3-1 and secure second place in the round robin and a spot in the Sunday semifinals.

Sunday’s semifinal game was a rematch of our only loss of the tournament as the GCRA Devils 3rd place in the round robin were looking to move past us and into the gold medal game.  GCRA would open the scoring at 11:25 of the first period and that 1 goal would stand up until Alanna Hunnie would respond to tie this contest at 1-1. GCRA would counter with 2 quick goals in the last minute of the first frame and it was going to be an uphill battle in the second period.  There was no quit in our Ice Hawk girls as we closed to gaps twice in the final frame and trailed 3-2 and 4-3 but we were unable to take the lead and a late goal gave the devils a hard fought 5-3 win.

Though the loss in the semifinal game stung, the tournament overall was a big success…a 3-1 record in the round robin is good for 6 points in the provincial landscape and one of the best starts in recent history for the Ice Hawks. No one knows that better than the coaching staff whose preparation and hard work has paid off early in this 2015/26 season. Thanks goes to Bruce Graham, Debbie Desgagne, Marc Baril, Carl Desgagne and Julie Stocks for all of the time and effort they put in preparing this team for what is shaping up to be another terrific year…

Go get’em girls…GO ICE HAWKS!!!   

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