This afternoon, Ontario Red and Quebec will meet for the gold medal at the 2007 National Women’s Under-18 Championship. This year will mark the fourth consecutive time that these two teams have met for the national championship, and hockeycanada.ca takes a look back at the previous three.
2001 – TROIS-RIVIÈRES, QC
Laurie Ross played the hero at the inaugural National Women’s Under-18 Championship, scoring the overtime winner 8:07 into the extra frame as Ontario Red claimed the first national title.
Quebec was just 20 minutes from the gold medal after Caroline Beauregard and Valerie Chouinard had given them a 2-1 lead through two periods – Lindsay Williams had replied for Ontario Red – but the Ontarians pulled even on Samantha Shirley’s goal at 8:52 of the final frame to set up Ross’ heroics.
Both teams entered the gold medal game at 4-1, with Quebec knocking off Ontario Red 5-4 in the round robin, and dropping a 5-0 decision to Team West.
JANUARY 2005 – SALMON ARM, BC
While the game in Trois-Rivières went down to the wire, Ontario Red made sure there was no repeat three seasons later, using strong goaltending and timely scoring to romp to their second straight National Women’s Under-18 Championship.
Christina Kessler made 36 saves in the Ontario Red goal for the shutout – Quebec held a 36-34 advantage in shots on goal – and Morgan Marziali and Alison Domenico scored 33 seconds apart late in the first period to get the ball rolling for the Ontarians.
Meghan Agosta, the future National Women’s Team member, finished with two goals and an assist as Ontario Red finished a dominant tournament with a convincing win. The gold medalists outscored the opposition 28-2 and Agosta racked up an impressive 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in five games, despite being held scoreless in her team’s tournament opener.
NOVEMBER 2005 – SALMON ARM, BC
After stoning Quebec just 10 months earlier, Kessler returned to the same ice in Salmon Arm and gave a similar performance, stopping 18 of 19 shots as Ontario Red became three-time national champions.
The Ontarians jumped on Quebec to open the game, outshooting their eastern neighbours 12-4 in the opening 20 minutes, but could only manage Rebecca Johnston’s goal at 6:54 to take a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
Vicki Bendus pushed the lead to 2-0 with the eventual game-winner late in the middle frame and the Ontario Red defense held the Quebec offence in check the rest of the way, clinching another gold medal and another perfect record, pushing their winning streak to 14 games at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship.
Quebec’s lone goal, from Audrey Belanger-Cournoyer at the 11:52 mark of the third period, was notable mainly because it was the only goal Ontario Red allowed in the entire tournament, breaking a shutout streak of more than 410 minutes, dating back to a 7-1 win over B.C. in the round robin finale of the January 2005 event, a span of almost seven games.