Girls storm to the top
|By Matthew Desrosiers - Editor | April 2, 2015|
The Minden CARQUEST Highland Storm Midget B Girls are Lower Lakes Female Hockey League (LLFHL) champions.
The team played in the league championships in Oshawa from March 27-29.
“It was kind of an emotionally draining experience, but lots of excitement and action-packed pressure,” said coach Dan Marsden.
After their eastern loop qualifying win over the Peterborough Ice Kats was appealed due to a league rule violation, the Storm had to rematch their opponents on Friday morning in Oshawa. Marsden said timing of the game was frustrating.
“Thursday would have made more sense to me,” he said.
However, at 10 a.m., the two teams rematched and with only 44 seconds left in the game, the Storm managed to tie the Ice Kats and secure enough points to win their loop. The tie put them forward to the championship tournament and eliminated the Ice Kats.
“Everything you could have scripted, it’s almost movie-esque,” said Marsden. “You never really know what’s going to happen. It’s elation at one point, and then right back at it to keep focused to keep rolling.”
“Everything worked out better than we would have thought.”
Marsden said the girls were disadvantaged and tired after having to play the extra game, but they found a way to tough it out.
“It was just trying to find that extra bit of energy, or extra gear to keep plugging away,” he said. “When in a tourney with the best of the best, our a final four tournament, we had to show our best, and we did.”
The Storm opened the tournament Friday afternoon against the Mount Forest Rams. Despite a late goal to put the Storm up 1-0 in the third period, the Rams managed to come back and tie the game.
The team’s second game of the tournament – and third of the day – came against the Flamborough Falcons. Once again the Storm took the lead, only to have their opponents tie the game late in the third period.
“We tied our two games on Friday, we didn’t lose,” Marsden said. “On Saturday, we needed to win.”
And they did just that.
The Storm skated to a 5-2 win over the Caledon Coyotes, securing a spot in the gold medal game against the Falcons.
Two periods passed without a goal until the Storm broke the stalemate in the third. This time, despite good pressure from the Falcons late in the period, the Storm held on for the win.
“We’re the Little Storm that Could,” said Marsden. “Before the game, the team seemed nervous and wide-eyes. We got them to focus [and told them] ‘we’re here because we’re a good team.’”
“To script it out, you could almost put it in a movie.”
While this could be the end of girls rep hockey in the Highlands for the foreseeable future, the Storm just aren’t ready to stop playing. Next for the team are the all-Ontario playoffs in Mississauga, from April 10-12.
The Storm are in a pool with the Oakville Hornets, Mount Bridges Cougars, and Waterloo Ravens.
“We finished first [in the LLFHL], we’re a good club,” said Marsden. “Hockey at the provincials is going to be no different than we experienced at league championships. We continue our focus, gameplay, and playing aggressive, and we’ll be fine.”
The top two teams in each pool will advance to the next round, in which teams will need to win to keep moving forward.
“Kudos to the girls. They keep finding a way or a gear, a team focus, to make great things happen. For the coaching staff, players and parents, it’s a wonderful experience we’ve been able to be a part of.”
MATTHEW DESROSIERS is the editor of The Highlander.