Quebec - 4 British Columbia - 2
By Glenn Hall & Graham Lewis /www.sarniasports.com
The Bronze medal game Sunday morning at Sarnia's Sports and Entertainment Center had Quebec represented by the Montreal Axion playing Team British Columbia.
Both teams had played exceptionally during the round robin portion of the tournament but had fallen just short of the Gold medal game based on the overall strength that both Ontario teams had brought to the event. Ontario was to compete for the championship later in the Day.
BC would start Jennifer Price in net who had shut out the power of the Team Ontario squad for two periods on Saturday. While Quebec’s Head coach Yanick Evola elected to go with 23 year old Charline Labonte.
Team Quebec was viewed by the fans as being the team to beat in this Bronze medal game. While Team BC was confident they had the required talent to win and if Jennifer Price played as well has she had in prior tournament games it was entirely possible that there could be an upset in the making.
Officiating duties for the game went to Theresa Llorente while Sonia Clement and Mary Ann Gage would be working the lines.
The first period opened with both teams exchanging rushes only to be turned aside at the blueline. The 1st whistle of the game was at 16:53.
Quebec on the attack at 16:04 drew 1st blood when #27 Catherine Bertrand scored off Jesse Scanzano shot on net. Bertrand had gone to the net looking for the rebound and found it.
Quebec’s Cathy Chartrand was impressive in the first half of the period turning aside BC attackers and making several good passes to allow the Quebec attackers to transition. Quebec as a team overall had a very strong passing game going. The squad demonstrated a very high skill level in moving the puck quickly and accurately.
Angela Ruggiero a right handed forward showed why her game had drawn the attention of many of the hockey people in attendance. As she rushed the puck and created goal scoring chances on numerous occasions.
The period ended with Quebec in the lead 1-0 and outshooting BC 14 to 3. To both teams credit the period was penalty free.
Early in the 2nd period BC had their best scoring chance of the game when Courtney Unruh was left all alone off to the side of the net and after taking a nice pass forced Labonte to make a spectacular pad save.
At 17:01 BC went on the power play when Quebec’s Cathy Chartrand went to the box for boarding. BC took full advantage of the opportunity when 16 year old Melissa Anderson teamed up with Julia Staszewski to tie up the game at 1 goal apiece. Staszewski buried the puck past Labonte after two attempts at the side of the crease.
Quebec got their first powerplay chance at 14:01 when Debbie Beaudion went off for body contact. Quebec got two shots on net but did not score.
At the nine minute mark Gina Kingsbury from Quebec was robbed by the glove of Jennifer Price as she broke in alone and went to the backhand.
Coach Evola from Quebec gave BC Coach Nancy Wilson something to think about when he matched up his two big players Chartrand and Ruggerio late in the 2nd. The pair formed a big and fast tandem that gave the BC defenders a lot of trouble on the boards and infront of the net.
BC went on the power play again at 14:47 only to have it nullified seconds later when Ruggerio on the rush forced Alycia Matthews to haul her down.
The second period ended in a 1-1 tie and set the stage for an exciting 3rd period. Shots on net after two were 31 12 for Quebec and if not for the play of Jennifer Price the game could easily have been out of reach for BC.
Quebec announced their intent when on the opening face off of the 3rd they lined up all five players across the center ice line and tried for the fast break on the draw.
Assistant Captain Kyla Gillespie was very noticeable in the opening minutes of the third period as she would very hard at both end of the ice for BC.
Jennifer Price thwarted Quebec at 11:59 with an amazing pad save which seemed to spur on her teammates as they responded with a goal at 10:50 giving BC the lead 2-1. Amanda Asay two months away from her 17th birthday found the net when Elyce Thomas gave her the puck from the corner. At the time of the goal Quebec was outshooting BC 45 to 14.
Not to be deterred Quebec responded at 8:28 on a screen shot from the point by Ruggerio to tie the game at 2 apiece and then 18 second later the regained the lead when Gina Kinsbury beat Price from in front. Annie Desrosiers got the assist on the play.
Quebec took control of the game from that point on and at 3;14 Angela Ruggerio notched her second goal of the game when she walked into the slot and blistered a low wrist shot past Price. As is expected in big games your best players have to rise to the occasion and in the 3rd Ruggerio certainly did.
Team BC certainly didn’t leave anything on the ice and gave it their all With Jennifer Price being just outstanding in a game which saw her face 60 shots and only giving up 4 goals. Ms. Price was awarded the player of the game award for her efforts and it would have been a surprise if it had gone anywhere else.Angela Ruggerio based on her two-goal performance received the honor for Quebec. She was by far the most dominant skater on the ice during the game. Her 2 goals in the game gave her 5 in total for the tournament.
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