AGNEW’S OT WINNER COLOURS ONTARIO RED GOLD
HUNTSVILLE, Ont. – And that’s why they call her the captain.
Lindsay Agnew (Oakville, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL) scored 18:10 into overtime to clinch the gold medal for Ontario Red at the 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship.
Daryl Watts’ (Toronto, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL) shot was saved, but the rebound was sent far side for Agnew to put into an open net.
No matter who fills the roles, the script has become very familiar. Ontario Red has now won nine of the 10 gold medals awarded in the event’s history. This year’s players admitted to feeling the pressure of living up to past teams’ results. With a roster that included 11 of the 23 players who made Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team this summer, they were once again the favourites.
They responded by going undefeated in five games, including a three-goal third period comeback two days earlier against Manitoba.
If either side was nervous for the rematch, they hid it well, as both teams skated freely out of the gate. As the period played on, Ontario Red began to assert itself and put Manitoba more on its heels.
It was rewarded at 14:40 of the first, when after goalie Stephanie Neatby (Toronto, Ont./Toronto, PWHL) turned aside a quality scoring chance, her team took play the other way, with Sarah Verbeek (Timmins, Ont./Cambride, PWHL) putting in a rebound off the rush.
Ontario Red continued to press into the second, but was held off the score sheet by the great work of Manitoba goalie Tory Micklash (East St. Paul, Man./St. Mary’s Academy, CAHS), whose quick glove work and kick saves kept the deficit to one.
Manitoba got its equalizer 7:35 into the third. Neatby’s attempt to clear the puck high off the end boards was blocked by Jaedon Cooke (Souris, Man./Westman, MFMHL). The ensuing chase for the puck left both players on the ice, with Cooke wrapping the puck around the goalie and in.
That set up the third gold medal overtime game in the event’s history. Manitoba had its shot to end it almost 13 minutes in when it spent the entire two minutes of a four-on-three power play in the offensive zone.
Manitoba played only the second penalty-free game in tournament history. Its silver medal equals its best finish ever at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship.