Alison Lee of the U23 Women’s Ontario team winds up to rip the ball during their gold medal game versus the B.C. Rams.
A week of high level hockey was rounded out as the 2017 National Championships in Surrey, B.C. headed into its seventh day. The sun was shining as the U23 Women’s medal games played on, with fight for the bronze medal up first.
Alberta and the B.C. Lions were up to battle for third place in U23 Women’s Competition in the early morning. The game was decidedly the Lions as they opened the floodgates of goals at the fourth minute mark. Captain Lindsay Cole scored a hat trick and teammates Brittany Smith and Rachel Spouge scored two goals each to lead the team towards their 11-0 win over Alberta to earn bronze.
The gold medal game had the B.C. Rams and Ontario play for the title of National Champs. The game was exciting, with lots of chances for both sides, but it was Ontario who came out on top. Women’s National Team player and Ontario captain Alison Lee led the team towards victory with a hat trick, and teammate Julie Demeester two goals lit up the scoreboard twice to safeguard the gold medal for team Ontario, winning 5-0.
A medal ceremony was then held and the best 11 players of the U23 Women’s tournament were announced:
|Rachel Spouge||BC Lions||West Vancouver|
|Simran Dhillon||BC Lions||Vancouver|
|Lexi deArmond||BC Rams||Victoria|
|Alison Lee||Ontario||Mississauga||Leading goal scorer for the U23 Women's tournament with 12 goals|
|Rosie Beale||BC Rams||Victoria|
|Lindsay Cole||BC Lions||Victoria||Second in goal scoring with 7 goals in the 2017 Nationals|
|Megan Ma||BC Rams||Vancouver|
As the medal ceremonies for the Women’s U23 were ongoing, the Women’s U18 tournament started up again. Alberta and Ontario East squared off in the first conciliation Semi-Final. The well-matched game was a gridlock of no goals for most of the turf time, as play bounced back and forth between teams. It was only until late in the second half that Alberta managed to break through and hit the back of the net with goals from Holly Richmond and Paige Koochin. Alberta took the win 2-0.
Day 7 saw that the U18 Men’s were back on the pitches with an intense Semi-Final game between Alberta and Quebec. The play was arguably back and forth, with both teams well matched for one another. The intense play translated into a high amount of carding we hadn’t seen handed out the entire tournament. A total of eight yellow cards were given out for on field infractions, with Quebec taking most of the calls. A sense of desperation hung over the game as both teams were made bad back checks, extra aggression in tackles – both teams doing whatever they could to get the edge. In the first half, Quebec was the first to light up the scoreboard with a goal converted from a short corner opportunity from Philip Bezzenberger. Three cards were awarded subsequently to Quebec and Alberta found the hole they needed to put up their own numbers. The teams entered the second half tied 1-1. The illegal plays kept on occurring, with the coaches trying to see that the players calmed down on the ball, and on each other. Bezzenberger banked another goal to regain their lead and teammate Alexander Bird doubled it. When the final whistle blew, the exciting game was Quebec’s 3-1, and the team earned the right to play for bronze in Day 8.
In the conciliation round of the U18 Women’s competition the BC Lions played Ontario Select. The first half was fiercely contested by both teams, who were unable to hit the back of the net. The frustrating gridlock was broken halfway through the second half as something finally started to give for the Lions. Jessica Goodfellow banked a goal in at the 51st minute and teammate Natalie Winter topped the lead off four minutes later. The B.C. Lions took the win 2-0.
In the second U18 Men’s Semi Final of the day, Ontario and the B.C. Lions battled it out to, see who would play for gold against the B.C. Rams. Ontario came out of the whistle assuredly, with a goal from Adam Sourges in the first minute. A couple green cards punctuated the rest of the first half, but other than that the match was back and forth. Fired up after half time, the B.C. Lions pushed a goal in from Johnny Jacoby to tie the game up, but Ontario responded in full with three more goals, giving Jagpreet Singh a natural hat trick, and leading team Ontario to a 4-1 win. Ontario goes on to play the B.C. Rams in the gold medal match on Day 8.
Rounding out the afternoon, the U18 Women’s tournament started their Semi-Final battles. Up first was a fight for central Canada when Ontario West and Ontario Central worked for the right to play for the title of National Champions. The first 30 minutes of the game was tight, with both teams working back and forth, each trying to hit the back of the net. Ontario Central led the scoring with two goals from Madeline Osgarby to win 6-0 and head to the gold medal match on Day 8.
In the second Semi Final, the U18 Women’s B.C. Stags and the B.C. Rams fought it out to see who would be representing the west in the gold medal match versus Ontario Central. The two teams were closely matched, but the Rams slowly edged out the Stags to win the Semi-Final game 3-1.
The evening had the Men’s U23 teams return to the turf to play their Semi-Finals. First up was team Bison versus Team Moose. The teams played good, clean hockey in a tight match up. Team Moose earned a short corner in the second, and Floyd Mascarenhas converted the opportunity into the first goal of the game. The goal went unanswered until teammate Jeremie Leclair, in the dying seconds of the game, punctuated team Moose’s lead with a goal of his own, to take the win 2-0, and the right for team Moose to play for gold.
The last game of the evening was would see who would face team Moose in the gold medal game on Day 8. The Grizzlies took on the Marmots on head-to-head, in a match up that saw intense, good hockey, with each team not giving the other much room to breathe. The first three quarters saw no goals, but things started to open up in the fourth when the Grizzlies scored two goals back-to-back from Sunny Aujla. The Marmots responded with two consecutive opportunities they converted into goals themselves, and the game was left tied as time ran out, which made for an exciting finale. The shootout saw the first two shots of each team not make the back of the net, but the Grizzlies managed to fire in their last two, to see that them get into the gold medal match on Day 8.
Day 8 is now upon us, as is the final day of competition in the 2017 National Championships! Goodluck to all the teams playing in the finals today, and congratulations to all for a great tournament. Let’s enjoy this last day of hockey!
Tune in to see the U23 Mens and U18 M/W medal games (except the Women’s U18 bronze game due to time conflict) here.
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For tournament schedule, click here.
For most up to date player and game statistics, click here.