The Atlantic Attack has a chance to defend its national title Saturday in Charlottetown.
The New Brunswick-based squad booked its spot in the National Ringette League final with a 9-3 victory over the Ottawa Ice Friday at the APM Centre in Cornwall during the final day of preliminary round play at the Credit Union Canadian Ringette Championships. It gave them a 6-1 record and earned them the bye to the title game.
“Oh wow, (it’s the) third year in a row that we’ve been able to get to the gold-medal game,” Stratford’s Ashley Hollis said.
The Attack earned silver in 2017 and captured gold a year ago in Winnipeg. They went 20-8-0-0 in the regular season this year to finish third behind the Cambridge Turbos and Montreal Mission.
With a bit of a bull’s-eye on their back, they are back in the championship game.
“It’s huge,” Hollis said. “The coaching staff has been great, great motivators . . . We couldn’t have done it without them, as well as our captains.”
The Attack is waiting to see the outcome of Friday night’s semifinal to determine who they would play for the title Saturday at 3 p.m. at MacLauchlan Arena. The Cambridge Turbos were in the semifinal and were awaiting to find out their opponent Friday afternoon.
The Attack defeated the Turbos 5-4 in double overtime on Wednesday.
“No matter . . . who we play, we have to come out and play our game, stick to our game plan as we have all week,” Hollis said.
The Attack rolled off four straight wins after dropping a 10-8 decision to Calgary Rath on Tuesday at the eight-team tournament.
“We kind of put ourselves in the same position last year,” Hollis said. “Last year, we lost against Calgary as well, but we were able to bounce back as a team. . . We just kind of put the loss behind us.”
The Attack held 2-1, 5-1 and 6-2 quarter leads against Ottawa (1-6-0-0).
Britney Snowdon scored three goals to lead the Attack while Jenny Snowdon and Martine Caissie each had a goal and three assists and Dominik LeBlanc set up four goals.
Madisson Gaudet had a goal and two assists while Miguelle Proulx had a goal and an assist. Jessica Snowdon and Taylor Gray also found the back of the net while Josee Doiron chipped in an assist.
Molly Lewis and Kali MacAdam each had a goal and an assist for the Ice while Jayme Simzer also scored.
Nathalie Poirier made 34 saves for the victory while Gillian Holder stopped 33 shots in the loss.
After Friday’s game, Hollis was heading for her third ice bath of the week after playing seven games in five days.
“Making sure we warm up and cool down properly is really important for our muscles,” she said.