With a pair of victories in the quarter- and semi-finals last week, the Elmira District Secondary School girls’ hockey team is headed back to the Waterloo County Secondary School Athletic Association finals.The squad, which took top spot in the regular season standings with a 10-0-4 record, won the WCSSAA title last year before falling in the Central Western Ontario Secondary Association championship game.
Head coach John Swatridge likes his team’s chances for another deep playoff run.
“They are a very hardworking team,” he said. “They’re all about hard work and hustle. They work really well down low. They play well on the boards; they don’t do anything too fancy, they just work really hard.”
On Monday, the Lancers knocked off Waterloo-Oxford District High School 2-1 at the WMC, despite not playing at their best.
“They hadn’t been on the ice together for three weeks,” Swatridge said, pointing to the exam break that followed the end of the regular season. “The first half of the game they played well, but the back half was tough.”
Rachel Weber opened the scoring for the Lancers mid way through the first period, assisted by Megan Chapman.
Chapman made it a two-goal lead just a minute into the second, but WODSS pulled back within one with just seconds remaining in the frame on a goal by Erin Near.
That gave way to a tense third that saw back and forth action and a number of close calls for the home side. But Lancer netminder Dana Columbo shut the door.
Two days later the Lancers played host to St. David Catholic Secondary School.
After a scoreless first, Emily Schuurmans broke the deadlock with a wicked wrist shot from the slot early in the second.
SDCSS got one back just minutes later, scored by Meghan Anton.
But the Lancers quickly responded with a pair of goals of their own, by Kacie Martin (Cassandra Tuffnail) and Megan Martin (Weber, Jaimie MacDonald).
Martin added another to start the third (Weber, Emily Wilms), capping off an impressive performance by the team.
“I’d say our goalie stood out today,” Swatridge said after the victory. “Kacie Martin was also very good; defensively, she was out there just about every second shift. The whole team played hard, I thought.”
The Lancers will skate for the WCSSAA championship this week against Preston High School. The date, time and location are still to be determined.