Three girls from Woolwich are the proud owners of silver medals after a second-place finish at the 2017 Eastern Canada Ringette Championships as Team Ontario.
Brianna Jacobi, Rachel Bettke and Maddy Camm are part of the Waterloo Wildfire U14AA Ringette team. After winning the gold medal at provincials in Nepean back in March, they put their game to the test against eastern Canada’s best on Easter weekend. There was plenty of tight play, with many games going down to the final buzzer.
They won four games in a row, then beat Quebec in the semifinals before losing in the gold medal game against New Brunswick 2.
Each province sends their gold medal and silver medal teams to Easterns.
The Wildfire faced off against Quebec 2 in Game 1 of the championships, and Carole Schwartz, a team parent, says it took the girls a while to get into the game, getting a slow start to the tournament.
“It was pretty obvious they hadn’t been in a high-pressure game environment for a while, but we managed to win 2-1 with the last goal at only three seconds left,” she said. “At least they got to start with a win, but it wasn’t a pretty win.”
Game 2 was against Prince Edward Island 1, and the girls played much better. The final score was 4-2.
“They found their legs and they found each other,” said Schwartz.
Nova Scotia 2 didn’t put up much of a fight in Game 3, with the Wildfire pulling off a 13-0 win.
“Everything was going right for us in that game. It was a good lesson though, to learn how to pull back and win graciously,” said Schwartz.
Game 4 was against the best team in the tournament. The only game New Brunswick 2 had lost in their regular season was the gold medal game. They put up a fight against the Wildfire.
“We were down 4-2 with about six minutes left and we ended up winning 5-4. They were very composed and they are a pretty good team for pushing each other. Even if there is only one minute left on the clock, it isn’t over,” said Schwartz.
The semi-final game came down to overtime, with the Wildfire winning 4-3.
“We pulled our goalie with four minutes left and scored twice to tie it up,” relayed Schwartz.“It was so exciting. Then we scored after ten minutes of overtime. That showed that no matter where we were at in the game, we could pull off the win.”
The final was against previous opponents New Brunswick 2. Schwartz says although the game ended in a loss, the girls played a clean, fast game with very few whistles.
“The first period was pretty even. There was four minutes left in the game and it was 4-3. They would score one, we would score one, they would score one, we would score one,” she said. “Second period, we ran out of steam. Then they ended up getting an empty net goal with about three minutes left, and we lost 5-3.”
For the girls, the silver medal was bittersweet. They were happy they had made it that far, but it meant the end of the 2016-2017 ringette season.
“They all huddled at centred ice and just had a cool down talk. Some of the girls don’t get to make it there more than once or at all, so the fact that they were so successful and that was the only game they lost, it is a huge accomplishment,” said Schwartz.“I think they were a little sad that their season was coming to an end, and that some of the girls, they wouldn’t get to play with again.”