Ross Royals keep first in D10 girls’ hockey in sight

GUELPH – The Ross Royals kept their eyes on a first-place finish in the District 10 high school girls’ hockey league Monday as they skated to a 7-0 victory over the St. James Lions at the Victoria Road arena.

The win leaves the Royals in second place, one point behind the Centre Wellington Falcons with one game to go in their regular season. The Falcons completed their regular season last week.

After a scoreless first period Monday, the Royals hit for four goals in the second period and three in the third.

Sarah Taylor, an all-star in the fall’s D10 field hockey league, had two goals and an assist for Ross as did teammate Lauren Stevens.

Taylor scored both her goals in similar fashion, breaking in from the right wing boards and skating into the slot before putting a shot home.

“Most of my coaches know that’s my spot to go,” she said. “Whenever you’re coming in, I try to go in on my strong side and I always see that little spot and I try to put it there. It’s just an easy thing instead of trying to dangle and stuff like that.”

Her first goal came on a backhander, the second one on her forehand. In between she was stopped on a similar play that she tried to finish with a backhander, before she switched to the forehand for her second goal.

“It was on purpose,” she said of the switch. “Usually I try to get my head up around the blueline, then I come in and slow down around the hash marks and then I look.”

Taylor, who plays rep hockey with the Guelph Junior Gryphons midget AA team and rep field hockey with the Guelph Cobras is likely to try out for a provincial squad in field hockey this spring.

She figures she likes each sport fairly evenly and their schedules at the high school level don’t overlap, so that allows her to play both.

“I’ve been playing ice hockey for longer so I just think I know it better so I like it,” she said. “I like high school field hockey a lot, almost more than this, but they’re pretty much even.”

Aniela Breen, Keegan Camp and Emma Walker also scored for Ross while Taylor Doyle had two assists and Camp, Emily Knight, Walker and Mikayla Kalverda each had one.

Caitlyn Bortolato picked up the shutout for the Royals, but wasn’t as busy as Morgan Eastwood in the St. James net who made several stellar saves.

The Royals are to complete their regular season Thursday with a game against the Bishop Macdonell Celtics at the West End arena.

Then it’s a break for exams and Ross will be follow that by being idle in regular-season league play in its final week, the one immediately following the exam break. Playoffs are to start on Valentine’s Day.

Taylor figures the key to being successful in the playoffs is to keep “passing (the puck) around and just getting our shots off and going for the rebound and stuff like that.”

  • Guelph Sports Journal