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UPDATED: Wind qualifies for Atlantic championship


Western wins midget AAA female title on home ice

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - The Western Wind is headed to the Atlantic midget AAA female hockey championship.

The Wind earned the right to represent Canada’s smallest province at the regional tournament in Bathurst, N.B., from April 4 to 7, after winning the provincial championship on Tuesday night. The host Wind doubled the Central Storm from Charlottetown 4-2 to sweep the best-of-five final series.

“I am just really proud of this whole group of girls,” said Wind assistant coach Stephen Gaudet.

Click here for story on Game 1 between Wind and Storm:

Click here for story on Game 2 between Wind and Storm:

Susan Dalziel, a longtime supporter of female hockey on P.E.I., presented the Wind with the Dalziel Cup.

The Western Wind won the P.E.I. Midget AAA Female Hockey League playoff championship in Summerside on Tuesday night. Members of the Wind pose with the championship banner and Dalziel Cup. Seated in front, from left: Gracyn Handrahan and Paige Deighan. Second row: Josee Gallant, Emma Dyer, Katie Snow, Taylynn Banks, Danielle Gallant, Macy Hackett, Brianna McCardle and Tianna Gallant. Back row: Paul Campbell (head coach), Jeff Hackett (assistant coach), Hilarie Gaudet, Calin Gaudet, Gracy Hackett, Kyrsten Coyle, Kiera MacKendrick, Kylie Campbell, Meredith Rogers, Ashton Grigg (assistant coach), Robbie Gallant (manager) and Stephen Gaudet (assistant coach).
The Western Wind won the P.E.I. Midget AAA Female Hockey League playoff championship in Summerside on Tuesday night. Members of the Wind pose with the championship banner and Dalziel Cup. Seated in front, from left: Gracyn Handrahan and Paige Deighan. Second row: Josee Gallant, Emma Dyer, Katie Snow, Taylynn Banks, Danielle Gallant, Macy Hackett, Brianna McCardle and Tianna Gallant. Back row: Paul Campbell (head coach), Jeff Hackett (assistant coach), Hilarie Gaudet, Calin Gaudet, Gracy Hackett, Kyrsten Coyle, Kiera MacKendrick, Kylie Campbell, Meredith Rogers, Ashton Grigg (assistant coach), Robbie Gallant (manager) and Stephen Gaudet (assistant coach).

Western completed the playoffs 6-0 (won-lost) after posting a league-best 22 wins, one loss and one tie in 24-regular-season games.
“We had a break between the first and second series (due to the Canada Winter Games), and I didn’t know if that would really help us or not,” said Gaudet. “Going in I was thinking we were going to be rusty, but right from the first period of that first game I thought we looked really good.
“The first period of the first game was pivotal for us, we got a couple of early goals and we were never been behind and always played with the lead.”
Before a big crowd at Credit Union Place’s Ice Pad, Gracyn Handrahan and Macy Hackett each had a goal and an assist to lead the Wind. Kylie Campbell and Hilarie Gaudet added single goals. Handrahan was named the most valuable player of the playoffs after recording 18 points in six post-season contests for an average of three points a game.
Josee Gallant (2), Katie Snow, Gracie Hackett and Emmer Dyer contributed assists.
Chloe McCabe (1-1) and Jessie Campbell answered for the Storm, who completed the regular season in second place at 14-8-2 and defeated the Mid-Isle Matrix in a four-game semifinal series. Jessica Turbide and Maggie Jamieson assisted.
The Wind built period leads of 2-0 and 4-1. The Storm cut the deficit to 4-2 early in the third period, and pushed hard to narrow the gap. But Western, backed by strong goaltending from Talynn Banks, held on for the title-clinching win.
“Coming on the end, they were picking it up good and we were getting a little nervous,” said Handrahan.
Coach Gaudet admitted the third period felt like it was 40 minutes long.
“Charlottetown really pushed hard,” he continued. “Our goalie made some keys saves, which of course you always need in the playoffs.”

Click here for story on Western Wind bantam AAA female team also winning provincial title:

Roster
The Wind roster is comprised of players from Summerside to Tignish, and Gaudet praised the team’s chemistry.
“A lot of teams stick together over the years, but we have a lot of girls who are new to AAA hockey and new to each other,” he said.
Handrahan added, “I didn’t even know some of the girls at the start of the year, but we have gotten really close.”
Gaudet credited a total team effort for the Wind’s success in the final.
“You always go to your goal-scorers, but in this series I have to think more about the forecheckers and the grunt work that was going on. There were a lot of battles that were won. . . When you have all three forward lines going and battling there is no pressure on the goal-scorers. Everybody contributed.”

Jason.simmonds@journalpioneer.com
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