Three ringette teams from Timmins travelled to Nepean to compete in a three-day tournament this past weekend.
The tournament marked the start of the 2019-20 competitive ringette season for the Timmins Tornadoes U12PP, U14A and U16A teams.
The U16A Tornadoes played in a competitive pool of teams and dominated the weekend — going undefeated throughout round-robin play with a 4-0 record, and outscoring their competition 29-7.
Anxious to get going on Friday, the Tornadoes took on Upper Ottawa Valley. This first challenge proved to be a hard-fought contest that showcased back-and-forth action and strong goaltending on both sides. Both teams exchanged goals early on, but Timmins pulled away with three goals in the second period and prevailed 4-2.
Next came West Ottawa. Pumped from their previous victory, the Timmins squad scored early and often and cruised to a 9-2 win.
The second day saw the U16A Tornadoes face off against the Metcalfe team. It took a while for the Tornadoes to find their legs, but ultimately the team exploded with six first-period goals in an eventual 8-2 triumph.
Later that day, the U16A team played their final round-robin game against Nepean. The team kept plowing through its competition and used a strong second period and strong defence to win convincingly 8-1.
The win meant a first-place finish in round-robin play and an advantageous matchup in the semi-final game on Sunday morning.
However, the win proved costly as the Timmins squad lost a key player to injury. With an already short bench, the Tornadoes found themselves playing the rest of the tournament with only nine skaters. The semi-final proved to be a meaningful battle of the “North” as Timmins found themselves playing their rivals from North Bay. The game didn’t disappoint as both teams displayed amazing defensive play and goaltending.
The Tornadoes were able to capitalize on their few good scoring chances and managed to win the game 3-0.
Goalie Katie Page was outstanding in this game as she was all weekend. The win meant that Timmins would play against a strong entry from Ottawa in the finals for a chance to secure a gold medal.
The game was hard fought and highly competitive as evidenced by the numerous penalties incurred by both sides.
By the start of the second period, Timmins was leading 3-0 on goals by Sierra Landry, Marie-Pier Durepos-Létourneau and Marguerite Bourdages-Côté. But the Ottawa battled back back with two quick goals to make it 3-2.
The Tornadoes re-grouped despite their tired legs from having a short bench, and scored late on goals by Landry and Bourdages-Côté.
Goalie Page withstood a barrage of shots in the dying moments of the game to preserve a 5-3 win and a gold medal.
Coach Eric Létourneau credited his team’s triumph to the player’s collective relentless fore-checking, and strong offensive instincts from players such as Jessica Boileau, Caelen Easton, Landry and Danika Ratte. He further credited the two-way play of the team’s strong centres, Bourdages-Côté and Durepos-Létourneau.
Coach Létourneau added that the Tornadoes’ outstanding defensive play was led by Tessa Desjardins, Karine Harvey, Madison Séguin and Sam Stewart.
During the same tournament, the U14A Timmins Tornadoes played four round-robin games and dominated with a 4-0 record and by outscoring its opposition 21-6.
The opening game was against the host Nepean Ravens on Friday and the Tornadoes came out flying, skating to a convincing 8-1 victory.
This game represented the first taste of competitive ringette for newcomers Adison Roberge and Karine Bolduc. Both played extremely well and Bolduc did some damage on the scoresheet with two goals and two assists.
Starting goalie Gabby Brazeau kicked aside all but one of the shots that Nepean fired at her. Game two followed that evening against West Ottawa and saw goalie Jo-Anne Vane making her U14A debut between the pipes.
The Tornadoes’ confidence seemed to grow as they won 5-1. The defence played extremely well, and teamwork and strong fore-checking limited the amount of quality scoring chances on their goalie.
In this game, all the offence was supplied by Keenyah Murray, Maria Aide Rios and Ella McCarty. Amaya Come and Talia Rivard were the playmakers for the game — each chipping in with two assists.
The third game was played on Saturday morning against Gloucester Cumberland — a team that is always tough to play against. The game was tight checking throughout with outstanding goaltending on both sides. Neither team could afford to make any mistakes, but the Tornadoes found a way to outwork their opponent and squeak out a 2-1 win.
Maria Aide Rios scored the first goal while Bolduc netted the eventual game winner.
Gabby Brazeau was again stellar in net to preserve the win. The final round-robin game was against the equally undefeated team from Metcalfe.
It was a nail-biter for most of the game until the Tornadoes were able to pull away halfway through the final period, and winning 6-3.
Aide Rios notched a pair of goals while Keenyah Murray, Ella McCarty, Camryn Hyde and Ella Brumwell rounded out the scoring for the Tornadoes. Lauren Bonsall played her best game adding three assists. The win gave the team the top seed heading into the semi-finals on Sunday morning which pitted the Tornadoes in a rematch with West Ottawa.
The Ottawa team had made adjustments since the first meeting and was much tougher to play against this time around. However, the Tornadoes worked hard and were able to use two second-period goals to triumph 3-1.
Once again, goalie Jo-Anne Vane was tough to beat and the Tornadoes defensive triangle anchored by Zoe Brazeau, Brumwell, Isobella Beatty-Peters and Talia Rivard was near perfect in holding Ottawa to just the single goal. The scoring was done by Murray, Aide Rios and Hyde.
The win set up another rematch in the final against Gloucester Cumberland.
Gloucester opened the scoring with the only goal of the first period, after getting one by a screened Gabby Brazeau. In the second period, Murray electrified her teammates and team supporters by scoring the equalizer with a laser shot that found the back of the net. The joy proved to be short lived, however, as Gloucester came back and scored on the very next shift. With the team down by a goal late, Timmins began taking some risks in the offensive zone in trying to secure the equalizer. This led to a defensive breakdown, allowing Gloucester to score their final goal to secure a 3-1 win and the gold.
U14A Timmins Tornadoes coach Trevor Vane remarked how both games against Gloucester were amazing to watch from a fan’s standpoint and how they were good benchmarks for the team to build on as the players prepare for their next tournament. He added that he and his coaching staff were very proud of the well-earned silver medals the Tornadoes were taking home.
The U12 Provincial Petite team also had a great weekend, even though they did not earn a medal.
With the team being quite young, the focus has been on bonding and building towards the provincial tournament in the spring of 2020.
The Tornadoes completed the round-robin portion of the weekend with a record of 1-3.
Goalie Christelle Berthier was a strong presence in the net, keeping her team in each of the games. The team lost their first make 8-2, but came back in the next game with a strong team effort, winning 4-3. On Saturday, the Tornadoes lost both games. The team had many different scorers throughout the weekend, as everyone finished with at least a goal or an assist.
Juliette Bourdages-Côté led the team with six points, while Brooke-Lynne McGinn, Jana Courchesne, and Tatiana Dalcourt each chipped in with four points. Emerly Côté and Jasmin Bangs had three points. Cloé Bélanger-Gallant and Valérie Hamilton each contributed two points. Alexyane Plouffe and Amaia Rios-Aide each had an assist. Emilie Mathieu, Isabelle Rivard, and Alisa Duggan also had a strong weekend.
The Tornadoes’ next collective tournament will be in early January 2020, when they travel to play in Whitby.