Editor’s note: The following was submitted by Chris Vogels.
SACKVILLE, N.B. – After a one-year hiatus, the Titan Your Skates ladies’ high school hockey tournament returned to Sackville, with games taking place from Nov. 17-19. The six teams competing for the banner included the Carleton North Lady Stars, the James M Hill Tommies, the Clément-Cormier Cavalières, the Rothesay Red Hawks, the Miramichi Valley Lady Pulamoo, and the host, the Tantramar Regional High School Titans.
The beautiful elements of female hockey: speed, toughness, strong skating, deft passing, intelligent teamwork, and outstanding goaltending were on full display during the round-robin section of the tournament, resulting in some very entertaining hockey games.
The Titans, hoping to make it two tournament victories in a row, started off the tournament with a bang as Alyssa Landry potted two goals in the first three minutes against the Red Hawks. Erin Carr assisted on both goals while Meredith Hicks also assisted on the second. The Red Hawks quickly responded with three goals to make the score 3-2 after one period of play.
After a scoreless second period, Hicks tied the game by burying a strong wrist shot from the high slot, with Delaney Acton and Mackenzie Allen credited with the assist. After Rothesay went ahead 4-3, the Titans quickly tied the game once again on an unassisted goal from Acton. Once again the Titans had to battle from behind as the Red Hawks took the lead 5-4. Landry tied the game while completing her hat trick converting on a set play directly off the faceoff; Abbey Morice picked up the lone assist.
- game remained 5-5 with each team picking up a point for the tie. Landry picked up player-of-the-game honours.
Game two matched TRHS against the Pulamoo of Miramichi. MVHS carried the play and Tantramar had difficulties both clearing the zone defensively and generating scoring opportunities offensively.
The final score was 4-1 with the shutout-spoiling goal being scored late in the third period by Allen with an assist from Acton. Alexa Estabrooks was awarded player of the game.
Jennifer Bell, a former Mount Allison University hockey standout, is currently an assistant coach with the Miramichi team and was impressed with the level of play of all the teams throughout the tournament and was pleased to see a lot of former young Mountie fans now playing for the Titans.
In their final round-robin game, the Titans found themselves in the unenviable position of needing to win by four goals to win a tie-breaker and advance to the playoff round. The team came out flying, outplaying the Tommies and showing a lot of desire, which was rewarded as team captain Delaney Acton opened the scoring with a high-effort unassisted goal. The second goal was scored by Meredith Hicks with helpers from Acton and Emma Vogels. Unfortunately, the Tommies snuck in a goal to make the score 2-1 after two periods of play.
Again, needing to win by four the Titans continued to press, however were only able to muster an empty net goal by Acton and assisted by Morice to win 3-1. Unfortunately, despite the win, the Titans fell short in the tie-breaker and did not qualify for the playoff round.
In the semi-final round, the Red Hawks, who had earned a spot in the playoff round in unconventional fashion with three ties, picked up their first win by defeating Carleton North by a score of 5-2. In the other semi-final game, the Pulamoo advanced to the finals by defeating the Cavalières 4-3, in a thrilling game which necessitated a shootout to decide the winner.
The Miramichi Valley Lady Pulamoo outscored the Red Hawks 4-2 in the final game to take the title.
Tournament chair Samantha Wood-Hicks was very pleased with how the tournament proceeded and noted that the spirit of the games, while competitive, remained very amicable as parents and players of all teams showed a great deal of sportsmanship.
Wood-Hicks stated that the tournament was a huge success and would not have been possible without the generous support of local sponsors. The excitement generated from the return of the Titan Your Skates tournament was undeniable as witnessed by the fact that, within minutes of the tournament ending, plans were already being made for next year’s tournament, with hopes of expanding the tournament to include more teams.