Apr 19, 2014 | Ken Vaughan | 1773 views
Bronze at Provincials for Walkerton Midget Ladies
Vaughan was the host for the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association Provincial Championships on the weekend of April 11-14 for the Walkerton Capitals Kinettes midget ladies hockey team. The 2013/14 season was the inaugural move for this group from playing “BB” up to “A” level hockey, and they more than rose to the challenge in every aspect all year long.
The Provincial championship started Friday morning as the Walkerton group faced-off against the North Bay Ice Boltz. Missing solid blue-liner Melynda MacKenzie, and netminder Erica “Ricky” Parker, both on the injured reserve list with nagging injuries, the rest of the team pulled up the slack and put game one in the books with a 1-0 victory. Joelle Busby scored in the third, assisted by Alyssa Becker and that was all they needed to start off the weekend on a great note with a very solid team effort. Later on Friday, facing the Niagara Rapids, the Capitals had their Friday night mojo on and posted a 4-1 romping, despite taking nine minor penalties! Three times in the first period they found the back of the net, Leah Kittel from linemates Julie Thomson and Joelle Busby opened the scoring less than 30 seconds into the game. Following that with Busby from Kittel and Thomson, then Thomson from Madison Wright and Busby again. Defenceman Janelle Weber assisted by Kailee Liesemer would round out the high flying Walkerton offence. It would take six periods of hockey before goaltender Cassisdy Becker would be beat on a goal mouth scramble. On to Saturday, and confidence at an all-time high, these ladies would face the Stoney Creek Sabres and show them no mercy with a 3-0 victory. Center Joelle Busby (1 goal, 2 assists), and defence Janelle Weber (2 goals, 1 assist) would lead the offence with single assists to Julie Thomson and Alyssa Becker. In net, Cassidy “Sassy” Becker was again very strong making key saves to keep the momentum going. Allowing just one goal thru the first three games giving her an outstanding save percentage in the round robin, as well as helping the girls secure first place overall.
Next up for the Capitals would be a quarter final matchup vs Etobicoke with the loser heading home. The Capitals played a dominating game but were only able to find the back of the net once when Kailee Liesemer scored assisted by Des Berberich and Jasmine Thompson. Cass Becker once again made the saves when needed and earned another shutout.
On to Sunday morning’s semi-final against season long division rival Saugeen Maitland. Saugeen would score first, but Thomson from Kittel would tie it up early in the second and that’s how it would remain through regulation. Both teams had quality chances in this game but the goalies stood strong and for the healthy rivals that they are, just three penalties for the home team and five for the visitors speaks to the girls having their minds on the task at hand, playing good, fast paced, enjoyable hockey. And play they did, and play, and play. It wasn’t until the “sixth period”, the third overtime period, that Saugeen would find a way to get the puck deep in Walkerton’s end and a very good shot would beat our goalie. A heartbreaking 2-1 loss.
However, with the character and determination that this group of young ladies displayed all year long, and was confidently instilled in them by the coaching crew of Brian Busby, Doug Wright, Dennis Becker, and Tom Kittel, they bounced back and secured the bronze medal with a 4-1 victory. This matchup against the team from Toronto Leaside was all Walkerton as Kailee Liesemer from Jasmine Thompson and Maddy Wright opened the scoring in the first. Period two would see Leah Kittel back on the score sheet assisted by Alyssa Becker, and then two more in the third from sniper Joelle Busby and again from Janelle Weber with assists to Julie Thomson (2) and Kittel.
Making the move up to playing ``A`` level hockey is a bigger step than some realize, and this group of ladies, Cassidy Becker, Madison Wright, Melynda McKenzie, Catherine Bradley, Destiny Berberich, Leah Kittel, Rebecca Rier, Jasmine Thompson, Julie Thomson, Kailee Liesemer, Joelle Busby, Alyssa Becker, Janelle Weber, Alexis Martin, Allie Leask, and Erica Parker listened to their coaches, and improved, and bonded as ``sisters`` as the season progressed. The end result of all their hard work and dedication is they are the Provincial Bronze medal winners in their first season at this level! An amazing accomplishment and everyone should be very very proud. A special thanks to the tireless efforts of the aforementioned coaching staff as well as trainers Bonnie Thompson and Cheryl Kuntz and manager Lori Thomson.