Bishop Mac gets spot in CWOSSA A/AA girls’ hockey tourney

GUELPH – The Bishop Macdonell Celtics get to play again in the District 10 high school girls’ hockey playoffs.

The Celtics struck in overtime Monday at Exhibition arena to edge the Lourdes Crusaders 5-4 in the league’s third and final quarter-final match.

As a reward for the win, the Celtics are to take on the first-place and defending OFSAA AAA champion Centre Wellington Falcons at the Centre Wellington Sportsplex in Fergus Wednesday.

“The first reward is going up to Fergus sometime later this week and seeing if we can score a goal against them for the first time in three chances,” Bishop Mac coach Jeff Hunt said. “In the two league games they beat us by a combined 16-0 so a goal is a victory for us. Certainly we’re the underdogs, but we’ll go up there and give it our best and see what happens.”

Centre Wellington finished atop the league at 11-0-1-0 at the completion of the regular season while Bishop Mac and Lourdes tied for fourth with identical 6-6-0-0 records. By finishing first, the Falcons earned a bye in the quarter-finals.

The Falcons and Celtics met twice during the regular season and Centre Wellington scored two shutout victories, winning 9-0 Nov. 6 at the West End arena and 7-0 at Fergus Dec 19.

Best thing of winning Monday’s game, though, is that the Celtics will continue playing no matter what happens against Centre Wellington as Monday’s game also masqueraded as the D10 A/AA championship match. That tournament is to be held March 9 and 10 at Waterloo and Baden.

“Clearly the big thing is the berth to CWOSSA,” Hunt said. “The girls are really excited about that opportunity and I’m really happy for the Grade 12 girls on the team. There are only three of them, but this is their last year and this is a great way for them to finish their hockey at Bishop Mac.”

Pool play at the CWOSSA tournament is to be held March 9 at Albert McCormick Arena in Waterloo and the Wilmot Recreation Centre in Baden. Semifinals and the championship match are slated for March 10 at Baden.

Monday’s game between Bishop Mac and Lourdes was a close one throughout. The Celtics had the lone goal of the first period and the teams were knotted 2-2 at the end of the second and 4-4 at the end of regulation thanks to a pair of goals late in the third by the Crusaders.

“Both teams, they laid it all on the line,” Hunt said. “I can’t give enough credit to Lourdes. When we got up 4-2 in the third, they could just have easily rolled over, but they put us back on our heels. They scored a couple and they had a couple of really nice chances.”

Both teams likely had the same plan for the extra period.

“I told the girls in between the periods: ‘Shoot the puck. Shoot the puck. Shoot the puck.’ It’s never a bad play to put the puck on net and sometimes weird things happen,” Hunt said. “We’ve all seen it.”

Julia Tonin netted the winner after five minutes of overtime, that goal completing a hat trick for Tonin. Jasmine Moroz and Morgan Boudreau added single goals while Sophia Dixon had the only assist awarded to a Celtic in the game.

Georgia Bernhard was involved in all four goals for Lourdes as she scored one of them and assisted on the other three. Alexandra Tessier had a goal and an assist and Abigail Robinson and Kayla Wilson each scored a goal. Abby Wilson had two assists.

Bishop Mac and Centre Wellington are scheduled to play at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

As for the CWOSSA tournament, the Celtics aren’t sure what the quality of opponent they’ll face there.

“It’s the great unknown,” Hunt said. “I’ve been a couple of times before, once with BM and once with St. James. It’s the great mystery. You never know what you’re going to roll into. You roll into teams that are about the same talent level overall and you also roll into teams that they’re all midget AA and stuff like that.”

At CWOSSA, Bishop Mac will be in a pool with Waterloo County representative Galt CI Ghosts (4-3-1-1-1 in regular season), D4 champion Norwell Varsity Reds (10-2-0-0) of Palmerston and one of the two Bluewater representatives, likely either Grey Highlands Lions (4-0-2) of Flesherton or St. Mary’s Mustangs () of Owen Sound.

 

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