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Submitted By Allison Frigon on Monday, December 7, 2015
The 35th Annual SCRA Ringette tournament marks the halfway point of the 2015/16 ringette season for our U16 Ice Hawk girls and the focus was on steady improvement and continuing the momentum gained from our 3-1 record in Oshawa over the Halloween weekend. Including the Sault, the 5 team U16 division was made up of the host team St. Catherine’s Comets, the Forest Extreme and also from Northern Ontario the Sudbury Thunder and West Ferris 63’s. 

Action got underway on Friday morning…the Ice Hawk were in tough against the top ranked team in the province the Forest Extreme.  Forest opened the scoring in the first period with an aggressive fore-checking style that gave the Sault limited opportunities at the other end of the ice; they added on a second tally before the end of the first period and went into halftime up 2-0. The Ice Hawks pushed back in the second period but were unable to get the ring past the Forest goal tender and would eventually drop the opening game 4-0.

Game two Friday afternoon brought out one of our familiar foes the Sudbury Thunder and although Sudbury has yet to find a win this season they were not showing any signs of rolling over in this game. The Ice hawks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and appeared to have a strangle hold on the game until a late first period goal that brought the Thunder back to within reach of the Sault before the half. With what seemed to be new life in their legs the Sudbury girls would not back off even after the Sault took the lead back to 2 goals at 3-1 they pushed the game back to a 1 goal advantage late in the second period at 3-2. The Ice Hawks scored again in the last 2 minutes of the second period and held on for the 4-2 victory.

Game 3 Saturday morning was a matchup with the host St. Catherine’s Comets who to this point in the tournament had 1 win and 2 losses to show for their efforts. The Ice Hawks were fast out of the gates in this game and took the early lead 3 minutes into the contest 1-0. In a tournament where scoring was at a premium the defense took center stage and held the Comets off the score sheet as the Sault ended the first with another goal to take a commanding 2-0 lead. The second period saw much of the same as the first; the Ice Hawks added a pair of goals and the defensive pairings along with Alyssa Desgagne’s stellar performance in net earned her the second shutout of the season and a 4-0 final.

Game 4 Saturday evening was simple…win and you’re into the final, but standing in the way was another high ranking opponent, the West Ferris 63’s. The team from North Bay had suffered its only loss of the season earlier in the day dropping a 3-2 decision to Forest and now both West Ferris and the Sault had identical 2-1 records with the winner going to the gold medal game. The 63’s opened the scoring early in the first on a power play goal but the Ice Hawks responded on a goal from Avery See only moments later to tie the score 1-1. This was a defensive battle that see-sawed back and forth and remained tied at 1 until a late first period goal that gave West Ferris the lead 2-1 heading into the second frame. North Bay added 2 more goals in the second period making the final 4-1 however the score was definitely not indicative of the game which was a close contest throughout.

Although we again fought hard and fell short of the gold medal game our overall record at 5 wins 3 losses keeps the U16 Ice Hawks very much alive in a hunt for a provincial playoff berth and the overall goal of a finals appearance in Timmins in the spring. Keeping these ladies on track is no easy task and as always kudos to the coaching staff of Bruce Graham, Debbie Desgagne, Marc Baril, Carl Desgagne and Julie Stocks. 

We can also agree that a large debt of gratitude is owed to the sponsors that have donated generously to our girls. This support goes a long way in ensuring the development of 2015/16 U16 Sault Ice Hawks. Special thanks goes out to;  the TD Bank, Legal Administrative Financial Services, Comfort Suites and Conference Centre, Algoma Industrial, Reyco Automotive and Industrial Supply LTD, Leslie Advertising, Micheal O’Toole Orthodontist, BJ Stocks Wildfire Inc., and Strictly Confidential Inc.

Go get em in North Bay Ladies!!



---written by Dennis Campbell

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