Falcons claim third consecutive D10 championship
FERGUS – The Centre Wellington Falcons kept their grasp on the District 10 high school girls’ hockey title as they won it for the third consecutive season and fourth time in five seasons Thursday with a 6-0 blanking of the Ross Royals at the Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex.
“Championships are always special,” Centre Wellington coach Merf Bauman said.” It’s a special team and there’s such a special camaraderie around the team and I’m so honoured to be a part of this team. They put everything in and they leave everything on the ice every time and then to win it is always special.”
The win completed an undefeated trek through the D10 season for the Falcons, the lone blemish on their league season being a 3-3 tie with Ross at the Victoria Road arena Dec. 19.
The Falcons finished atop the standings at the completion of the regular season with a 9-0-1 record while the Royals were second at 7-2-1, Lourdes Crusaders third at 6-4-0, Centennial Spartans fourth at 5-5-0, St. James Lions fifth at 2-8-0 and Guelph CVI Green Gaels sixth at 0-10-0.
“So far I would say we’ve had a really good season,” Bauman said. “I think the highlight so far is the tournament we went to (and won) in London where we played different teams than we play in our loop. That kind of gave us an idea of what kind of skill level we have. I’ve been really happy with how the girls have participated and given 100 percent every time they’re on the ice. My philosophy has always been you play one shift at time every game. No matter what the score is, you play one shift at a time and if you can win every shift you win the game. They’ve bought into that, but for me it’s the friendships, the camaraderie, the atmosphere inside the room. They’re having a lot of fun together and I think that’s what makes a team successful, too.”
Both the championship-game participants received byes in the quarter-finals. In the semifinals, Centre Wellington shut out Centennial 3-0 and Ross edged Lourdes 4-3.
In the final, the Falcons scored twice in the first period and once in the second before putting the match away with three goals in a span of 2:18 in the final five minutes of the third period.
Abigale Kirk and Jadynn McCracken each had two goals in the final while Ella Zwep and Faith Willmets added single goals. Avery Diljee assisted on three of the goals while single assists were awarded to Addison Oakes, Campbell Lean, Olivia Kosempel, Hannah Turner, Ellen Bouwman and Keira Healey.
Kezia Skerrit picked up the shutout for Centre Wellington while Ross netminder Taylor Meredith was the busier of the two goalkeepers.
The Falcons advance to the CWOSSA AAA tournament at Kitchener’s Activa Sportsplex Monday and Tuesday. They’re in a pool with the Elmira Lancers and Huron Heights Huskies of Kitchener while the teams in Pool B are Resurrection Phoenix of Kitchener, Bluevale Knights of Waterloo and Assumption Lions of Brantford.
And what do the Falcons know of their CWOSSA opponents?
“Not a lot,” Bauman answered. “I’m not one to look at other teams so much. I volunteer to do this so for me it’s more just focusing on our team and making sure we’re bringing the best we have and if we do that and the outcome is let the best team win. That’s been my focus.”
Centre Wellington is to play Elmira Monday at 9 a.m. and Elmira Monday at 12 noon.
Top two in each pool advance to the Tuesday morning semifinals while the championship game is scheduled for Tuesday at 2 p.m.
The Falcons will be looking to add to their season and replace their win in the London tournament as their campaign highlight.
“We played some teams there that were really good,” Bauman said. “The one team that we played in the semis, they had five PW (Provincial Women’s Hockey League) girls and the one of them on Team Canada, the U18 Team Canada team, so that was a test for us.
“They went out and they beat them 3-2. That was pretty special, pretty awesome because it made us realize that we have a good team and we have good depth. Now we’re on the road and you have to play every game.”
Lourdes is D10’s representative in the A/AA tournament at Talbot Gardens of Simcoe and the Port Dover arena Monday and Tuesday.
The D4 representative is the Norwell Varsity Reds of Palmerston.
The Crusaders and Varsity Reds are both in Division 2 of the tournament along with the Walkerton Riverhawks and Southwood Sabres of Cambridge. Division 1 teams are St. David Celtics of Walkerton, Sacred Heart Crusaders of Walkerton, Paris Panthers and Simcoe Composite Sabres.
Monday at Port Dover arena, Lourdes is to play Walkerton at 9 a.m. and Southwood at 12:30 p.m. while Norwell is to play Southwood at 10:30 a.m. and Walkerton at 2 p.m. Crusaders and Varsity Reds are to meet Tuesday at 8 a.m. at Port Dover.
As is the case in the AAA tournament, top two in each division in the A/AA tournament advance to the Tuesday semifinals set for 12 noon while the championship game is scheduled for Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. at Talbot Gardens.
- Guelph Sports Journal