It all came together for the St. Marys Scotiabank U-12 Regional team this past weekend at the Pyramid Recreation Centre.
After posting just two wins in league play, Erica Brine’s squad won all three of their games to claim the gold medals in annual St. Marys Snipers ringette tournament.
In the championship game Sunday afternoon, the U-12 Snipers doubled Cambridge Turbos 8-4 to cap a perfect 3-0 weekend.
“It was a team effort; they played awesome,” coach Brine said moments after the gold-medal game. “It all came together.”
There was a flurry of five goals before the five-minute mark of the first period. One of the St. Marys goals was a shorthanded marker, and the host team held a 3-2 lead at that point.
Turbos scored in the final minute of the first half, but Snipers held a 5-4 at the intermission break.
In the second half, St. Marys tacked on three insurance goals and goalie Shawn Schoelier stopped every shot directed his way. His biggest saves came in the final 15 minutes as Cambridge tried to get back in the contest.
Shayla Lane completed her hat trick at the 1:06 mark, giving Snipers a 6-4 lead. After strong pressure from the Turbos, the ring returned to the other end of the ice and Josie Gorman put St. Marys ahead 7-4 with 4:42 left on the clock.
After a late penalty to the Snipers, Cambridge also pulled its goalie for a 6-on-4 player advantage. However, Turbos couldn’t penetrate the St. Marys defence, and co-captain Katie Brine completed her hat trick and the scoring with an empty-netter with 69 seconds remaining.
In addition to the three goals by both Brine and Lane, Gorman was also an offensive force with two goals and three assists. Delaney Schoelier chipped in two assists.
Later in the PRC lower lobby, the respective gold and silver medals were handed out to the St. Marys and Cambridge teams.
Another thriller in opener
The Scotiabank U-12 team began round-robin play in their three-team division with an exciting and action-packed 7-4 victory over the same Cambridge Turbos Saturday morning.
With fans from both teams cheering on the two squads, it was a close game that looked like it could go either way.
Cambridge held 2-0 and 4-2 first-period leads, but Snipers battled back to gain a 4-4 tie by half-time.
Early in the second half, both teams had goals waved off, before St. Marys co-captain Amy Gras finally gave her team the lead for good with a goal at 6:19. At the other end of the ice, goalie Shawn Schoelier kept his team in front with save after save. Schoelier proved to be the difference in this game.
Finally, with 2:18 left on the clock, St. Marys breathed a little easier when co-captain Katie Brine scored a big insurance goal--giving the host team a 6-4 advantage. Josie Gorman tacked on an empty-netter with just 62 seconds remaining.
Gorman, Gras and Brine paced the Snipers’ offence with two goals apiece. Gorman also picked up two assists for a four-point outing. Shayla Lane had the other St. Marys goal, while Laura Kearsey was the playmaker with three assists.
The Scotiabank U-12 team earned a berth in Sunday’s final with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Tillsonburg Saturday night.
St. Marys built a 3-1 first-half lead on goals by Shayla Lane, Amy Gras and Josie Gorman. Goaltender Schoelier played well for his team, holding Tillsonburg to just one goal in each half.
• In the U-16 ‘A’ final Sunday morning, Chatham defeated Elora-Fergus 6-3.
• It was a down-sized Snipers’ tournament this year, with just nine teams competing in two age divisions (three teams in U-12 and six teams in U-16 ‘A’).
• Tournament chairman Peter Westelaken had this to say following the tourney Sunday: “I appreciate the facility. The arena staff and facility were great, and next year the tournament will be bigger and better.”