Blizzards took on a whole new meaning at the 13th Annual DQ Female Hockey tournament in Moncton on the weekend, with Cape Breton West teams making a clean sweep by capturing banners in Atom, Peewee and Bantam.
-by Bill Dunphy
It was the cherry on top of the Dairy Queen sundae.
All three Cape Breton West teams that played in the 13th Annual DQ Female Hockey tournament in Moncton on the weekend came home with their division banners.
The Atom, Peewee, and Bantam girls not only won, but none of them even lost a game. In fact, the Peewee Female A Islanders didn’t even allow a goal.
“It was quite a weekend for Cape Breton West female hockey,” said Peewee coach Alvin Doucet.
With Ava Van Zutphen in goal for all the games, the Peewee girls defeated the Metro East Inferno Gold 2-0, the Metro East Inferno Red 4-0, and the Miramichi Panthers 4-0 to finish 3-0 in the round-robin.
On Sunday, Cape Breton West advanced to the final with a 6-0 semifinal win over the SEFHA Stars. And in the championship game, the Islanders rolled over the Metro West Force Red Snipers 7-0.
“Ava really had to stand on her head against Miramichi,” said Doucet. “She was most definitely tested and more than ready to face the challenge.
“Overall, the girls played their hearts out and were so determined. Going into the tournament you don’t know what to expect and as the weekend goes on, you begin to feel you have a shot. And with 14 teams, you can’t really afford to lose a game,” he said.
There were 16 teams in the Atom A division, and the Cape Breton West Islanders were also up to the challenge, outscoring their opponents 33-4 without losing a game.
In the round-robin, the Atoms defeated the Metro West Force Blue 7-1, the Capital District Cyclones Team #2 7-2, and the KV Kobras 8-1.
On Sunday, Skylar MacLean had a hat trick as the Islanders defeated the SEFHA Panthers 7-0 in the semifinal game. Olivia Copley added a pair, with singles from Hannah Nadasdi and Floragael MacNeil.
And in the championship game, Marianna MacIsaac notched her second shutout of the day to beat the Miramichi Panthers 4-0.
MacLean had her second hat trick to pace the offence, with Copley adding the single marker.
And the Bantam A Islanders blazed their way to a banner with five straight wins and a 24-1 goals-for- and-against record.
The first win was a 7-0 gift by the KV Vipers who forfeited when they failed to show. Game two saw the Islanders down the Metro East Inferno Gold 6-1, who had beaten Cape Breton West in the SEDMHA final in November.
Orianna MacNeil had a hat trick to lead the Isles, with singles from Charlize Hart, Marisa MacLellan and Maeve Gillis.
The final game of the round-robin saw Myah MacDonald score twice in a 5-0 win over the Sussex Rangers. Singles were added by Abby Bona, Hart, and MacLellan.
Goaltending duties are shared by Avery MacDonald and Léarose Aucoin.
The Bantam girls advanced to Sunday’s final with a 5-0 win over the Metro East Inferno Red in the semi. Orianna MacNeil, Myah MacDonald, Maeve Gillis, Katie Agnes MacNeil, and Brooke MacLellan all dented the mesh for the Isles.
And in the final, Cape Breton West’s Orianna MacNeil scored the only goal of the game to beat the Western Riptide 1-0 for the banner.
“It was a great tournament for all the Cape Breton West teams,” said Bantam coach Lewis MacLellan. “We gave up just one goal, and that came when we were up 6-0, so nobody was worrying about it.”
MacLellan said the team practised regularly during the Christmas break, but hadn’t played a game since December 11th.
“The girls were ready, which really says a lot about the program. When these girls started in Atom, they were getting blown out, now they’re developing for the next level.”
MacLellan said visiting teams were impressed with how well all the Cape Breton West teams were playing, leading to questions like “who are you” and “where are you from?”
“It was definitely a motivator for the girls, going to the tournament together, getting to see each other play; especially for the younger girls who were cheering on the older ones and patting them on the back.”
For some of the Bantam girls, it was their second victory at the DQ tourney.
All in all, it was an impressive display of female hockey that once again makes a convincing argument for Cape Breton West to host a four-division showcase tournament within the association.
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