(boothNov2021)-Our U19 women took the long trek up to Buffalo this past weekend to play in the Rush Hockey Inferno Tournament in what turned out to be some of the toughest match ups for our girls this season. The marathon of games started Friday afternoon when we took on the hometown favorites Amherst Lady Knights.
Right from the start of the game, our girls were showing the effect of the long trip with some sloppy play. Our girls were disorganized and showing lots of individual effort. The Lady Knights eventually took advantage of our lack of intensity and scored their first of 2 goals deep into the first period. As disappointing as these goals were, it was enough to wake our girls up allowing them to channel the individual efforts into a team effort. In the second period, Kaila Booth found Jenna Calchi low in the slot for the first goal which was like an alarm clock for our team, and everyone started to play together. Later in the second, defensemen Katrina Conway and Morgan Daly teamed up to get Charlotte Labre the puck. Charlotte ripped a rocket of a shot into the back of the net to tie the game at 2 goals each. It was a sweet goal! In a bit of foreshadowing, both teams tightened up their play such that neither team was able to get a tie breaker in the net.
Friday’s second game against the Rochester Edge illustrated more of what can happen when the girls play together to work the puck around the ice. Lots of players made the scoresheet in the 6-0 shutout. Eve Hill 1G1A, Kaila Booth 3G, Lexi Poulin 3A, Morgan Daly 1G, Guin Donavan 1A, Jenna Calchi 1A, Katrina Conway 1A, and Avari Hahn 1G.
Saturday morning the girls showed they can play before noon when they soundly defeated the Naperville Sabres 6-1. The girls worked the puck well together and the scoreboard showed it. Everyone saw action including both netminders Sydney Babin and Lucy Fassler. Making the scoresheet were Kaila Booth 1G1A, Lexi Poulin 2A, Michelle Radov 2G, Bonnie Mundy 2G1A, Avari Hahn 1A, Morgan Daly 2G, Eve Pryadkin 1A, Katrina Conway 1A, Maggie Danchak 1A, and Sam Roberts 1A. Unfortunately, the girls seemed to have hit a wall in Saturday night’s game against Steel City. Again, the individual efforts were evident but so was fatigue and lack of focus. The final score of round robin play was 2-0 with Steel City looking like the team to beat for the tournament. The girl’s effort was inconsistent but strong enough to make the semifinal game on Sunday morning.
Sunday morning schedule had us schedule for a rematch against the play the Rochester Edge. Rink side gossip let us know that the Rochester team was missing some of their best players during our first match up and they were going to be suited up for the rematch. Our girls were confident, but they didn’t take them lightly. The Edge girls showed early that they were a different team, and they came out playing hard. Fortunately, Sydney Babin was able to turn away every shot she faced and then our offense woke up when Lexi Poulin got the puck to Jenna Calchi for the first goal of the game. Then came a tidal wave of offense that overtook the girls from Rochester Edge such that they could not recover. The final score was 6-0. Making the scoresheet for the Little Flyers was Jenna Calchi 1G2A, Lexi Poulin 1G2A, Kaila Booth 1G, Sam Roberts 1G, Katrina Conway 1A, Eve Pryadkin 1G, Guin Donavan 1G1A, and Bonnie Mundy 1A. The stage was set for a Sunday afternoon Finals of the Little Flyers verses the Amherst Lady Knights when the Knights beat the Steel City girls in the other semifinal game.
Our girls were feeling confident going into the final. Our girls had a general sentiment that “we were still waking up on Friday so I think we can really take it to them today”. What we didn’t know was the Amherst Lady Knights were thinking the same thing. What resulted was a game with such intensity that not a fingernail was left unbitten. Little Flyers fans were given an early disappointment when the Lady Knights took advantage of the slightest loss of focus and put the puck into the net for an early lead. Coach Deming was able to help the girls calm their nerves and regain focus, but the Lady Knights were not letting up and the score at the end of the first period had us behind 1-0. The second period showed two teams skillfully working the puck around the rink and both Sydney Babin and the Knight’s tender turned away shot after shot. Then deep into the period, Eve Hill worked the puck in towards the slot and found the net to tie the game at 1 goal each. The intensity was palpable going into the third period with the scoreboard showing 1-1. Our girls were up to the challenge and showed they would not be denied when Katrina Conway got the puck to Kaila Booth for what turned out to be the winning goal. Coach Deming commented afterwards, “hockey is a game where everybody makes mistakes but when the girls supported each other nobody could stop them…”.