Ontario Red is aiming to win five consecutive championships at this year's National Women's Under-18 Championship in Napanee, ON. The four-time defending champs entered the tournament with an 18-game winning streak dating back to a round robin loss in 2001.
If the team is to capture its fifth consecutive championship in Napanee, it will need to get big contributions from its five returning players. Defenseman Laura Fortino is the lone returning defenceman, while four forwards – Cassandra Langan, Candice Styles, Kayla Sullivan and Brianne Jenner – are also back from last year's squad. Fortino, Styles and Jenner were among the best young female players in the country as they suited up for Canada's National Women's Under-18 team.
Head Coach Stacy Marnoch, who was an assistant behind the bench at last year's championship team, has named Jenner as team captain.
Of being captain, Jenner says, "It's awesome! There are lots of great leaders on this team from across the province, and to be named team captain is an honour."
A self-described vocal leader, Jenner credits her progress as a player to her time with the national under-18 team. She also cites her coaches as a positive influence.
Complementing the veterans on the Ontario Red team are several promising young players from across the province. In goal, Ingleside native Cassie Seguin will provide an excellent last line of defence. At 5’9”, defense player Kailey Chappell will bring size to the back end, along with a quick stride. Up front, forward Jamie Lee Rattray has a tireless work ethic and slick passing ability.
Some games are still to be played, but one thing is clear: it will take a formidable challenger with both high-end talent and depth to dethrone Ontario Red at the 2008 National Women's Under-18 Championship.
The drive for five is alive.