Falcons lift CWOSSA AAA plaque for first time

CAMBRIDGE – For the first time in school history the Centre Wellington Falcons are CWOSSA high school AAA girls’ hockey champions.

The District 10 champion Falcons added the CWOSSA AAA crown to their winnings this season by taking the final 3-1 over the St. Mary’s Eagles of Kitchener Wednesday at the Hespeler Memorial Arena.

“This is incredible,” Falcons forward Olivia MacMillan said of the win. She scored all three of Centre Wellington’s goals. “I can’t believe it. I’m in shock, to be honest with you. Everyone just worked so hard. It’s a big thing.”

“This win is one that I’ve been – I’ve coached for nine years now and we haven’t been here before ever,” Centre Wellington coach Marv Bauman said of winning the CWOSSA AAA title. “This game for me is huge and for the girls, it made history for Centre Wellington District High School. This is an awesome experience.”

Centre Wellington rolled undefeated through the D10 season, winning all 10 of their league games and outscoring their opponents 64-2. Eight of their wins were shutout victories.

The Falcons followed that with two more shutout wins in the playoffs after getting a bye in the quarter-finals. They blanked the Guelph CVI Green Gaels 8-0 in the semifinals and the defending D10 and CWOSSA champion Ross Royals 3-0 in the D10 final.

“Going into this we were the favourites,” MacMillan said. “Every team was going after us and we were just trying to hold up to everything that we wanted to accomplish.”

With winning the D10 title being the first and main goal of the season, everything after that is often thought of as gravy.

“This is the first scoop,” Bauman said. “From here on in it’s just going to be having fun and getting the experience, trying to keep the girls calm and not getting too nervous. For the girls it’s just believing in themselves and knowing that they are good enough at this level. I don’t think I’ve seen this team play this well as a team. They worked together well. There were a few spots here and there, but they were consistently high-paced and passing and shooting very well. They were very good on defence. To me, this is a great team and it’s probably better than they realize.”

While Centre Wellington has won a CWOSSA girls’ hockey title before, it was at the A/AA level in 2004, the school year before Centre Wellington moved to its current location and before its enrollment increased to the larger level.

After a scoreless first period Wednesday, the teams netted a goal apiece in the second with Centre Wellington getting the first of those two goals. The Falcons added two more goals in the third, the final one into an empty net with just over a minute to go.

“I’m crazy right now. I can’t believe it happened,” MacMillan said of her championship-game hat trick. It’s a really nig thing. Everyone, all my teammates, were setting me up and helping me get those three goals. I can’t be more thankful.”

Does one stand out more than the others?

“The first one was pretty lucky,” she said. “I got a lucky bounce and I was able to get it in there. My second goal was probably my favourite. I was able to score that one so that was good.

“One of my girls went behind the net and fed it out front,” MacMillan said of the third goal, an empty-netter. “It was just sitting there so I put it right in.”

Centre Wellington advanced to the final following another 3-1 win, this time over the Brantford CI Mustangs in the semifinals. St. Mary’s edged the Elmira Lancers 3-2 in the other semifinal.

The win puts the Falcons into the 16-team OFSAA provincial high school AAA championship tournament at Midland March 19 to 22.

“I’ve never been so it’s going to be a really new thing,” MacMillan said. “Everyone has just got to be rested and get better and just go for it.”

And what does Centre Wellington have to do to continue its seasonal success.

“Just play our game,” MacMillan said. “Getting pucks deep, getting pucks to the net and getting shots on net is a really big thing for us. Just keep on skating is really going to help us get that win that we want.”

“Now we’re going a whole level higher,” Bauman said. “You’re playing against the champions of champions. It’s going to be a challenge for them. I’m hoping for great things. At least we’re going to go and have a lot of fun.”

The Falcons went into the CWOSSA tournament knowing very little about the competition they’d face and things won’t change heading into the provincial tournament.

“It’s the same for OFSAA,” Bauman said. “I have no clue who’s going there and what we’re looking at. We’re just going to go and be who we are and play our game and make the best of it.

“All that matters to me is how these girls perform, that they go out and give 100 per cent every shift. One shift at a time. That’s my message. I want 100 per cent every shift. If we lose and we’ve all given our all, then we weren’t the better team. I don’t like losing when not everybody’s pitched in and done their best. That’s my message to them and it will be moving forward, too.”

In other words, don’t leave the tournament disappointed in your own effort.

Pool play at the provincial tournament is set for March 20 and 21 with March 21’s action culminating with the quarter-finals.

Semifinals are slated for March 22 at 9 a.m. Losers will meet in the bronze-medal match at 12:45 p.m. while the winners will play in the gold-medal game at 1:30 p.m.

 

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