Aces Dig and Find Gold in London Devilettes Tournament, News (Stratford Aces Girls Hockey)

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2018-2019 Perth Auto Dismantlers Atom A - Aces Dig and Find Gold in London Devilettes Tournament
Submitted By Holly Mortimer on Tuesday, February 5, 2019
London Devilettes Tournament Feb 1-3, 2019   I just finished reading an article about why hiring a hockey player can be incredibly smart for a business owner. The article, written by a former NHL’er, outlined the qualities that make a hockey player a great employee. I thought it fitting to use as my outline for the tournament review. So, using that article as inspiration, here are his outlined characteristics and how I feel they were displayed this weekend.

Courageousness: It took incredible courage for our tiny players to go to the boards against players twice their size, time and time again. And then, take a deep breath, regroup, and head back out and offer up their body, mind and well-being for the team’s goal, a win, knowing a date with the rink boards was in their future.

Self-less: The ultimate team players give up their chance at glory so that another player can score, or have their turn in net. Those players that carry the puck and realize that passing makes perfect sense and could almost guarantee a goal instead of taking the shot that may or may not work out. Or that goalie who selflessly sits an entire game, ducking and weaving with her partner and cheering her on, just as excited as if they were in net. Heck, the entire defensive quad live out a selfless existence most of the time, passing that puck up so that their fellow forwards can take it to the glorious goal.

Humility: The classic “There is no I in team”. Hockey players know playing without your team doesn’t earn you Gold medals. There are no heroes in hockey, well, except for the parents and coaching staff at the 5:30am wake up calls who can market how amazing a practice at that time could be like no one I’ve ever met!

Creativity: Let’s face it. Every girl on the ice this weekend knows their drills. They know what to do in a “perfect condition” scenario. It’s so fun to watch right brain thinkers shine when faced with an opponent coming at them 100mph and they deek and cut and spin around while maintaining control over the puck and are two steps ahead of where they currently are. Or left-brain thinkers who can lean on that stick and see the angle and calculate their speed and adjust their path and fire off a shot or a pass before the same aforementioned opponent bares down on them like a Mac truck. Or the goalie who can confidently say that there is a use for a protractor outside of geometry class. The angles and the flex on the fly skill is a thing of utter beauty and such a valuable life skill.

Take A Punch: We don’t see this one too often in Atom, but as a parent of a Bantam player, it’s coming. When I did the warm up with the girls on Friday and they huddled and stated their mission for the game, I was super excited that a few of them stated they were shoulders in, push through, potentially elbows up. And man, I love a good defensive protective move when it comes to “protect your goalie at all costs”.

Mindset: When was the last time you blocked out any obscure thoughts, didn’t check your IG account and finished the task at hand? These girls went down in the first game, adjusted their mindset and didn’t deviate until the last period was over and the gold medal was hanging around their neck. Who wouldn’t want that kind of focus in their employee?

Work-Ethic: This one goes hand in hand with mindset. I can’t remember the last time I got up at the crack of dawn and went to the gym just like I’d told myself I was going to do, but these girls get up and work so hard they feel nauseous, swallow some Advil and do it all over again, better than the last time, even though their heads are dizzy, their tummies are hurting and they’re probably constipated beyond belief from the stress. But they kept going this weekend until they couldn’t go any further.

Which leads me to the final quality that he talked about…

Resilience: So many of their classmates have never once felt the sting of getting cut or leaving your heart and soul out on the ice and losing by one measly, crappy goal. Or of facing down a breakaway, confident you’ve got the angle right and miscalculate by a fraction and that was the game winning goal. So, they lost in the first game. And never lost again.

 

And so, they set foot on the ice for the Ancaster game just as fired up as the first game against St Thomas, with a completely focused mindset, ready to play aggressively, and with courage. They creatively beat a strong team with humility, where passing scored goals and filling in for positions you weren’t used to so your teammates could take a break when their spirit and their body was failing. (And when you stepped on their hand with your skate). When one goalie joyfully danced with excitement for her goalie partner who was killing it and learning how to fully embrace the power of the goalie crease. This game was the game I watched where these skills came together to give the momentum to a team that deserved to win. Of course, they went on to win against Kitchener and St Thomas to take home the gold as we all know. Want to see the stats? Keep reading!

Congratulations coaching staff and players for a monumental effort that paid off just the way we all knew it could.

 

Game statistics:

Game 1: Stratford vs St Thomas Panthers

Final Score: 1-0 – loss

 

Game 2: Stratford vs Woolwich Wild

Final Score – 3-3 – tie

It took the girls until the 3rd period to find their mojo and here’s how it stacked up, with goaltender, Sloane Cameron counting the tie.

3rd Period at 10:28

Centreman Lauren Leis scores, assisted by winger Lila Mortimer and winger Anne Nickel

3rd Period at 8:51

Centreman Lauren Leis again, unassisted

3rd Period at 1:49

Winger, Paige Campbell, assisted by winger, Ella Taylor to tie up the game.

 

Game 3: Stratford vs Ancaster Avalanche

Final Score: 3-1

This was my favourite game and the score certainly reflects the grit and determination they had. All of their goals were scored in the second period, which made for a nail-biter of a third period, but Kipfer held them at bay for the win.

2nd Period at 9:26

Centreman Emersyn Miller, assisted by defenseman, Avery Randall to get the scoring started.

2nd Period at 4:31

Winger Paige Campbell, on a beautiful end to end passing play, from defenseman, Teresa Schuster, to winger Ella Taylor and in!

2nd Period at 3:00

Another net scrambler winner for centreman, Lauren Leis from wingers Lila Mortimer and Anne Nickel to solidify the lead and the win.

 

Game 4: Stratford vs Kitchener Lady Rangers – semi-final

Final Score: 5-4

An incredibly high scoring ping pong match of a game on the big ice at Western Fair which saw goaltender, Sloane Cameron record a win with a nail biter of a game that went into sudden death overtime. Let’s break it down.

1st Period at 1:51

Defenseman Emma Van Nes went end to end to find centreman, Emersyn Miller who found net.

2nd Period at 3:09

Winger Lila Mortimer, dug one out of the corner, sending it out front where it found centreman Lauren Leis’ stick and the goalie’s five hole.

3rd Period at 13:39

Winger Ella Taylor patiently waited in front of the net, when defenseman, Maren Marshall went end to end to find Taylor, who as indicated, fired a shot that slid under the goalie’s pads.

3rd Period at 1:22, the tying goal came from the centreman duo of Miller and Leis. Leis taking the pass from Miller and sending the crowd into d-fib.

Overtime only lasted 1:38, when unassisted on a four on four, Emersyn Miller sailed one over the goalie’s shoulder, moving the Aces to the final game.

 

Game 5: Stratford vs St Thomas Panthers – Final

This writer was unable to attend, so following are the stats recorded for the game, which I can only imagine, was intense, angst-filled and incredible to watch. The win saw Kipfer record her second win of the tournament and the girls claim victory and the gold medal.

2nd Period at 3:57

Winger Eve Binns, the ultimate tiny chipper, who hasn’t met a board and a player she can’t maneuver around, scored the leading goal on a pass from centreman, Lauren Leis.

3rd Period at 13:53

On a pass from the defensive duo of Maren Marshall and Emma Van Nes, centreman Emersyn Miller scored to take the team that much closer to victory.

The third and final goal was nailed home by winger, Paige Campbell, assisted by defenseman Avery Randall and winger Anne Nickel.

 

Congrats girls on your exciting and well-deserved win. Next up, play-offs and play-downs.

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