GCVI’s quick start to third secures girls’ hockey quarter-final win

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

GUELPH – Two goals in the opening minute of the third period secured a victory in the District 10 high school girls’ hockey league for the Guelph CVI Green Gaels Wednesday at Exhibition arena.

“I’ve never seen that happen before,” GCVI captain Madi Jarvis said. “In the change room, we just regrouped and said we wanted to go out hard for the third period and that was our goal. As soon as those two goals happened, I think the momentum really shifted at that point.

The Gaels scored once in each of the first two periods before netting a pair of goals 20 seconds apart in the opening minute of the third on their way to a 4-1 victory over the Bishop Macdonell Celtics.

“It was such a relief after those two goals but we wanted to keep it up and we knew we couldn’t relax,” Jarvis said. “We had been in a little bit of a slump so I think this game will help us going into semis next week.”

“They came out and gave it their best effort and that’s what we wanted to see from our team,” GCVI coach Evan Howie said. “I think if we play that way, then we’ll be successful.”

Lorraine Vandermyden hit for the first of that pair seven seconds into the period before Maddy Krusky followed with her second of the game to put GCVI up by four.

Dana Schaffner scored the other goal for the Gaels while Olivia Richard, Emma Ryan, Sarah Brown, Krusky, Frances McKnight and Vandermyden each had one assist.

Kyle Bertrand of Bishop Mac ruined the shutout bid by GCVI’s Megan Harron with just less than seven minutes to go in the game. Kendall Cummings and Briar MacDonald assisted on the goal.

As fourth-place finishers, the Gaels were matched up against the fifth-place Celtics in what was expected to be the closest of the quarter-final matches.

“They played well,” Howie said. “They’re a good team that you need to respect and that’s what we told the girls before the game. They’re going to come out and play hard as well and if we don’t come out and play hard, then we won’t win this game. As long as you treat your opponent with respect, then you’ll be more successful.”

This season the D10 loop has featured four teams battling at the top. At one point after the Christmas break, all four teams were tied for first.

“The games are going to be difficult from here on out,” Howie said. “I think any of those four teams are capable of winning District 10 this year. There’s not very much separating those four teams in the standings and there have been a lot of close games involving those four teams. As long as we play our game, I think that we can be successful going forward and that any team can come out of District 10 which is going to be exciting.”

“This season it’s really been anyone’s year,” Jarvis said. “In the past it’s really been that some teams are more dominant than others, but it’s anyone’s game to win. We’re going in as underdogs, kind of, going in as fourth so this year could be ours if we just play how we did today.”

“Our team has improved throughout the season because we just feel comfortable playing with each other at this point,” Howie said. “Having the whole season to improve, now we’re at the point where hopefully this is our peak which is what you want going into the playoffs.”

The Centennial Spartans finished first at the end of the regular season at 9-1-0 and received a bye in the quarter-finals. The Centre Wellington Spartans were second at 8-2-0, Ross Royals third at 7-3-0, GCVI fourth at 6-4-0, Bishop Mac fifth at 3-7-0, St. James Lions sixth at 2-8-0 and Orangeville Bears seventh at 0-10-0.

Of the top four, GCVI was the team that was expected to fall out of the race for first, but stayed there until the final week of the campaign.

“We have in the past where we’ve lost in the quarters or semis and we haven’t been in the finals for a few years, so our goal is really to go there, but we just want to take it one game at a time,” Jarvis said. “We just want to play to our full potential every game.”

There were no surprises Wednesday as Centre Wellington downed Orangeville 4-1 and Ross doubled St. James 6-3.

That means the top four get through to next week’s single-game semifinals.

Wednesday, the Gaels are to play the Spartans at the West End Community Centre at 2:15 p.m. while the Royals are to play the Falcons at the Centre Wellington Sportsplex at 2 p.m.

Winners advance to the final set for the following week.

Centre Wellington 4 Orangeville 1

Scoring details were not reported.

Ross 6 St. James 3

Courtney Phillips had a hat trick for Ross while Melissa Pierce, Claire Kelterborn and Sydney Meunier added single goals. Lauren Stevens assisted on two of the goals while Meunier, Kelterborn, Aniela Breen, Annie Lambkin and Keegan Camp each had one assist.

Caitlan Krasinski scored twice for St. James while Alyssa Berdusco also scored. Krasinski and Grace Burke had one assist apiece.