Centre Wellington back on top in D10 girls’ hockey
FERGUS – Two goals in the first six minutes of the game helped return the Centre Wellington Falcons to the District 10 high school girls’ hockey league’s throne.
“The goal for me today was to win. That’s it,” Centre Wellington coach Marv Bauman said. “I know our girls when they play their game, they’re very hard to beat. We’re strong defensively and we’re deep. For me it was the main thing to get their legs going and to take away time and space and make time and space for ourselves. If we did that well, then I thought we had a good chance of winning.”
In a season that saw the Falcons yield two goals and none since Nov. 22, Kara den Hoed’s goal less than three and a half minutes into the Wednesday’s championship game at the Centre Wellington Sportsplex would be all the Falcons would need to get by the Ross Royals. In the end, they scored another goal two minutes later and added their final goal early in the third for a 3-0 victory.
The shutout was the 10th in a row for the Falcons who blanked their opponents in their final eight regular-season outings and also added a shutout win in the semifinals.
“I really feel that it’s not a normal year in our league,” Bauman said. “It’s a little weaker than normal so it was very difficult to know how we’d do today just because of that. We had two exhibition games lined up to try to get a feel for competition and those fell through because of weather. I was confident that we could at least give them a good run if not win it again because we have a good bunch of girls. They just love to play and they have a lot of fun.”
“Honestly, we haven’t had a lot of competition this year and our team is really, really – I think they’re very strong and very offensive so most of the games they’re in the other team’s end,” Centre Wellington netminder Faith Mitchell said. “Really it’s just been not a lot of shots.”
Including their two playoff wins, the Falcons outscored their opponents 75-2 in D10 play this season. That meant Mitchell watched a lot of the action from the other end of the rink and had a lot of games where she was rarely tested.
“That’s tough,” she said. “Probably one of the hardest things to do as a goalie is stay in it and stay intense. It’s pretty hard. It took a lot of years to get used to as there’s a lot of mental with it.”
The final, though, was not one of those games where she had to fight to stay focused as Ross did press at times, looking to put an end to her streak of shutouts.
“It wasn’t a problem today,” she said. “We had some good competition.”
And the Royals did come close to breaking the goose egg as the Royals did get a loose puck close to the goal-line as Mitchell lost sight of it.
“I thought I had it, but I didn’t,” Mitchell said. “Once I heard them all screaming, I thought ‘Oh, I definitely don’t have it.’ I definitely found it and covered, but my team’s got me. My team’s got my back.”
The start with the two early goals also took a lot of pressure off Mitchell.
“It’s definitely relieving,” she said. “It’s relieving to be able to, not sit back, but know that you’re going to be OK if there is a mix-up and if there is an accident. You just have to keep the same mentality of we’re in it to win it.,”
Kara den Hoed and Lynsey Goodwin each had a goal and an assist while Sydney Healey scored the other goal. Courtney den Hoed assisted on two of the goals and Maddy Bender and Olivia MacMillan each had one assist.
For Mitchell, she was a little more involved in the game than many of Centre Wellington’s outings in the watered down D10 league. No doubt the league’s top two teams met in the final while some of the others had trouble fielding more than two full lines on a consistent basis. St. James had no problem with numbers, but the Lions were a young squad with a brighter future ahead of them.
For the Falcons, the title win allowed them to regain league bragging rights that Ross had won last year. Centre Wellington had the championship plaque at their school 1,000 metres away on Scotland Street.
The win also gave the Falcons a berth in next week’s CWOSSA AAA tournament at Hespeler Memorial Arena Tuesday and Wednesday.
“We’ll see how we do,” Bauman said. “If we focus on the things that we so well, I think we’ll do well. But there’s a lot of good hockey teams out there, so I’m not (expecting) to win anything easy now that we’re out of (D10). We’re playing the best of the best, but these girls are good. They can step up and I think we’ll have some success.”
The Falcons will be in a pool with the Owen Sound Wolves and the winner of Thursday’s Waterloo County championship match between the Waterloo-Oxford Crusaders of Baden and the Elmira Lancers. The other pool will have the loser of that match along with the St. Mary’s Eagles of Kitchener and the Brantford CI Mustangs.
“I don’t know a lot,” Bauman said of the teams at CWOSSA. “I don’t do a lot of research on CWOSSA teams. I know that we’ve played a few of them in a tournament and they’re good, quality teams. To make it to CWOSSA, you have to be a good team. We’ll be against teams that are similar to us so a lot of it will be who wants it more and who makes the least mistakes and do the little things right.”
Pool play at the CWOSSA tournament will go Tuesday while Wednesday will be for the tournament’s playoffs, culminating with the championship game at 1 p.m.
“How many coaches get to coach a team that has 60-plus goals for and two goals against? That’s it for us this year,” Bauman said. “We had one loss in the early tournament that we played in. Since then it’s been win, win, win.”
Falcons 3 Royals 0
Centre Wellington 2-0-1–3
1. Centre Wellington, K.den Hoed (C.den Hoed, Goodwin), 3:22
2. Centre Wellington, Healey (Bender, MacMillan), 5:23
Penalty: Phillips Ross (tripping), 10:04.
Penalties: Kalverda Ross (holding), 1:17; Healey CW (hooking), 2:48; Lomax Ross (holding), Proctor CW (hooking), 6:51.
3. Centre Wellington, Goodwin (C.den Hoed, K.den Hoed), 2:35
Penalties: Proctor CW (tripping), Bench CW (bench minor), 5:04; Kelterborn Ross (interference), 8:52.
Goalies: Mitchell, Centre Wellington; Walker, Ross.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Ross 0-3; Centre Wellington 0-3.
- Guelph Sports Journal