Royals, Falcons confirm their D10 title showdown

GUELPH – The Ross Royals and Centre Wellington Falcons appeared headed for a championship-match showdown in the District 10 high school girls’ hockey league all season long.

The pairing became reality when both won their semifinal matches Wednesday, Ross beating the Centennial Spartans 5-2 at the Victoria Road arena and Centre Wellington blanking the Guelph CVI Green Gaels 8-0 at the Centre Wellington Sportsplex.

Centre Wellington finished first with an unbeaten run through the regular season, winning all 10 of their games. The Falcons were the league’s highest-scoring team with 64 goals and also the stingiest team with two goals against, both scored by Ross.

In their regular-season meetings, the Falcons defeated the Royals 2-1 in Guelph Nov. 8 and 4-1 in Fergus two weeks later.

The final is set for next Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Centre Wellington Sportsplex.

 

Ross 5 Centennial 2

Ross scored about three and a half minutes into the game and led 2-1 at the end of the first period and 4-2 after the second.

“Getting that goal right off the bat really got our team momentum and out team intensity way up,” Ross forward Courtney Phillips said. “We were hoping they wouldn’t score at all, but we knew it was going to be a tight game and that they’re really tough competition.”

Sarah Taylor led the Royals with two goals and two assists while Phillips had a goal and two assists. Lauren Brulotte and Olivia Sarabura added a goal apiece while Keegan Camp, Cassidy Gordon, Avery Lomax and Sarabura each had one assist.

Aleigh Wilker and Megan Rowbotham scored for Centennial and Kathleen Roberts assisted on both goals. Sophie Tonin and Elizabeth Schnurr each had one assist.

“We told the girls before the game not to take these guys lightly because they can steal one from you, even though we dominated them in December,” Ross coach Ted Wilson said. “Sure enough they came out and I was very impressed with how much they were on top of us at times. They were a very determined team and their grit really showed. They gave us a real fight.”

For the Royals, the win pushes their overall mark in D10 play to 9-2-0 and they’ve outscored their opponents 48-11.

“A lot of this team, we’ve been together (for a while),” Phillips said. “I’ve been here for four years and a lot of us have been a core group of girls and just getting to know where everyone’s going to be on the ice and communicating. Working together, that’s been one of the biggest aspects of our success.”

The team is very similar to the one that advanced to last year’s OFSAA AAA championship tournament at Cambridge last year.

“There are a lot of the same players,” Wilson said. “We’ve got some good Grade 9s. They’re still finding their way but it is basically the same team. That gives us a lot of confidence with that kind of experience. The team that we went to OFSAA with is basically back again this year. That gives us a lot of confidence going into the D10 final.”

And the Royals are glad for another game against Centre Wellington.

“We haven’t beaten them yet, but every single person in that room deep in their heart they want it. We want this game,” Phillips said. “We’re not going to let CW just walk all over us. We’re going to come out and we’re going to come out hard and hopefully get that win.”

“The only team we lost to was Centre Wellington and they were both good games,” Wilson said. “We’re capable of beating them. We’re on a pretty even keel with them.

“They’re a pretty formidable opponent, but we’re just happy to be back in the D10 final as I’m sure they are and I’m sure it’s going to be a great game.”

This will be the fourth consecutive year that Centre Wellington and Ross will have met in the playoffs. Ross won the D10 title last year with a 3-1 win over Centre Wellington in the final while the Falcons ousted Ross from the semifinals in both 2017 and 2016.

 

Centre Wellington 8 Guelph CVI 0

Tiana Dietrich and Sydney Healey scored twice apiece for Centre Wellington while Kara denhoed, Emily palmer, Carson Lean and Lynsey Goodwin added single goals.

Faith Mitchell picked up the shutout in the Centre Wellington net.

 

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