Kate Rogers of the B.C. Rams celebrates a goal in the Gold Medal Game against Ontario West.
PHOTO: Blair Shier
It was a rainy start to Day 5 of the 2017 National Championships in Tamanawis Park in Surrey, BC which saw the U15 tournament wrap it’s last day of play! Day 5 featured battles for the top 3 U15 teams in Canada. The U15 Boys and Girls teams battled for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in an exciting day filled with a high level of hockey.
The day’s matches were kicked off by Ontario Central Team and the B.C. Royal Lions of the Girls U15 tournament, who were playing for 4th, 5th or 6th placement. The match up was incredibly tight, with no goals in the first half, both teams waiting for something to give. Which it did, but barely. With two minutes to go in the game, Shyana Ringma of the Royal Lions converted a short corner call into the only goal of the game, to see her team win 1-0.
The Boys U15 Bronze game was up next in an action packed turf war between Ontario East and Quebec for the Bronze medal. The first half was left at a 0-0 stalemate, putting the pressure on both teams to break the tie and put some numbers on the scoreboard. Quebec came out to deliver first with a rocket from Alexander Bird. Four minutes later Ontario East clapped back after earning a short corner call which captain Brendan Goddard turned into a goal. As the ball was brought back to the centre line, Quebec came back firing on all cylinders to regain their lead and busted down the field, ending in with Phillippe Loignon-Lapointe ripping a shot to the back of the net. The drama didn’t stop there, as both teams took cards in the dying minutes of the game. But as the final whistle was blown, Quebec earned a bronze medal for the first time in Canadian Nationals history.
Up next were the Boys U15 B.C. Lions taking on Alberta in a bid for 5th place. The game was well matched with both teams were neck-and-neck for most of the game, until Lions captain Navjot Chahal banked a goal in at the 41 minute mark. Play intensified as the clock ticked down and both teams took green cards late in the game, but the score remained the same, with the Lions taking 5th place.
The Boys U15 Gold Medal game match up featured Ontario Central and the B.C. Rams battling for top spot. Ontario Central came out relatively early with a goal from the U15 Boy’s leading goal scorer, Randeep Randhawa, eight minutes into the game. B.C. was able to square it up before entering halftime as Ryan Knight banked a goal in from a short corner chance of their own. The game continued with that back and forth nature with high tempo, but the B.C. Rams had the last say as Avjot Buttar ripped two goals in the second half, to lead his team to gold medal victory.
The late morning games featured the Women’s U23 age groups as the B.C. Lions and Alberta took each other on. The Lions came out early earning the lead, with team captain Lindsay Cole banking a hat trick, leading her team towards a 7-2 win. Alberta tried to come back late in the game with Sydney Shortt lighting up the scoreboard with two goals, but it wasn’t enough to catch up to B.C.’s lead as time ran out.
Next up the U23 Women’s B.C. Rams and Ontario faced one another in an even, hard fought game. Brianna Ricker of the B.C. Rams set the tone early with the first goal of the game, scoring a total of two goals for her team. But Ontario battled back to tie it going into halftime. When the final whistle blew the score sat tied 3-3.
Moving into the afternoon, the U15 Girls tournament was back on centre stage. Quebec and Ontario East battled it out for lower pool standings. Ontario East came out on top with a 3-1 win over Quebec.
Up next was the B.C. battle for Bronze. The B.C. White Lions and the B.C. Stags set off on a well matched back and forth game, that saw limited scoring. The first half was good, clean hockey, but neither team was able to hit the back of the net. Something had to give, and it did when the Lions took a green card at the 46 minute mark, and the momentum swung in favour of the Stags. The Stags capitalized two minutes following the green card, when Nadine Reis converted a short corner opportunity into a scoring moment. The B.C. Stags took the Bronze medal after winning the game 1-0.
Fighting for the lower placements of the U15 Girls pool, team Alberta and the B.C. Lions had their final game of the tournament. The teams came out neck and neck, with no goals scored the entire game leaving the team’s sitting on a 0-0 tie.
Just before 3:00PM, the Girls U15 Gold medal game kicked off. Ontario West faced the B.C. Rams for top the spot in Canada. For the first 15 minutes, the game was tightly contested, but as the B.C. Rams opened up scoring the floodgates opened. Kate Rogers earned a two goal lead for her team, and team captain Jenna Buglioni, leading goal scorer of the tournament, put a nail in the team’s lead with two goals of her own. The B.C. Rams earned the title of National Champs with a 5-0 win over Ontario West, who clinched the silver medal.
In the late afternoon the Men’s U23 competition kicked off with team Moose vs team Bison. Team Bison came out on top with Brandon Periera scoring two goals early in the 1st quarter, to ensure a 2-0 win.
Shortly after, the Men’s U23 Marmots challenged the Grizzlies that saw a high tempo game with Grizzlies captain Sunny Aujla scoring a goal in the 2nd quarter. Amrit Sidhu scored another two goals for Grizzlies to lead them to a 3-1 win over the Marmots.
In the evening, the U23 Women came back to the pitches at Tamanawis Fields in Surrey. In an inter-provincial battle, the B.C. Lions and the B.C. Rams stormed the field in a high energy game. The first half was back and forth with the Lions taking the first goal of the game 10 minutes in, and the Rams responding with a goal of their own five minutes later. In the second half, the momentum gathered for the Rams who banked another two goals to end the game 3-1 as the clock ran out.
The last game of the evening was Ontario vs Alberta of the U23 Women’s tournament. The game turned into a total blow out for team Ontario, with the final score sitting at 11-0. Ontario captain Alison Lee led the goalscoring for her team with a total of 5 goals, teammate Emily Buttinger with a hat trick, and sister Danielle Buttinger with two goals.
Congratulations to all the U15 teams for an awesome tournament – we’ll see you next year! Day 6 of the 2017 National Championships will see the Women’s U23 tournament play their Semi-Final games before heading into Finals on Monday, as well as the U18 Men’s and Women’s and U23 Men’s pool play continue.
If you’re from out of town, or can’t make it to Tamanawis Fields to see the final medal games, you can catch the live stream of the U18/U23 medal games here!
For photographs of the 2017 National Championships & medallist photos head over to our Facebook page.
For the full tournament schedule, click here.
For most up to date player and game statistics, click here.