Centre Wellington grabs slim win in girls’ hockey final

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

FERGUS – Allison Campbell’s goal with just under seven minutes to go in regulation time lifted the Centre Wellington Falcons to the District 10 high school girls’ hockey championship title.

That goal gave the Falcons a 2-1 victory over the Guelph CVI Green Gaels in the final Wednesday at the Centre Wellington Sportsplex.

“Honestly, I don’t even remember what happened,” Campbell said. “I was so in the moment. I just looked and the puck was in the net and I just freaked out.”

Campbell was in the right place in a small cluster of players just out from the slot in front of the GCVI net when the puck squirted loose and she just fired it home for the win in the tight-checking match.

“It was a great game. That’s a good team,” Centre Wellington coach Marv Bauman said. “They have some good players and a good goalie so we knew we had our work cut out to win this one.”

“We were expecting a close one,” Campbell said.

The Gaels had jumped ahead early on a goal by Kyra Kestral, the lone goal of the first period. Frances McKnight picked up an assist on the play.

Taylor Collins scored with less than three and a half minutes to go in the second period to pull Centre Wellington even and set the stage for Campbell’s winner in the third. Susan Noble and Emily Palmer picked up assists for the Falcons while Leah Fogarty was the winning goaltender.

Caitlin Kroetsch was tagged with the loss despite making several big saves in the third.

“We knew we were in for a hard game today,” Bauman said. “They beat Centennial (in the semifinals) and they have some good players. Goaltending is a big deal in this league and she’s probably one of the better goalies in the league. I encouraged the girls to not look for shots straight on, but to pass back and forth and we got a couple of good ones, so that was good.”

Centre Wellington advances to the two-day CWOSSA AAA girls’ hockey championship tournament at Brantford that is to start Monday. The Falcons don’t know anything about the other teams that could be there.

“I don’t do any research on the teams,” Bauman said. “I just make sure we’re doing the best we can and we have options adjusting the play. The things that we practise, we just adjust those little things for games depending on who we play against and what they’re good at.”

The Falcons would rather focus their energy on their own game than worrying about what the opposition might do.

“My philosophy is that you spend too much time evaluating other teams and you forget about your own a little bit,” Bauman said. “I just want our girls to be the team to beat. That’s what they’ve got to think so they go out and play their game and play hard. If there are adjustments that need to be made, we’ll talk about it on the bench or in the dressing room and go from there. We have no practise time now anyway. Monday comes and we’ll go and have some fun. That’s what it’s all about.”

“We’re just going to play hard and hope for the best,” Campbell said. “We’re on this roll and we’ve won these last two games so hopefully we can keep the momentum into CWOSSA.”

Monday will feature pool play at the CWOSSA tournament and the top two teams from each pool advance to Tuesday’s playoff round. Semifinals are set for 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and the final is to go at 2 p.m. All games are to be played at Brantford’s Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre.