The Atlantic Attack threw everything they had at the Calgary Rath net on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough.
The Attack lost 5-3 in the National Ringette League championship game before a near capacity crowd at MacLauchlan Arena in the final game of the Credit Union Canadian Ringette Championships.
“I’m proud of the girls,” Attack head coach Gilles Proulx said. “We never gave up. We were down 5-1, (but we) came back and we gave ourselves a chance to win. . .
“The girls gave everything they had, and we have our heads held high. We lost against a good Calgary team.”
The Attack had its chances early but found itself trailing 2-0 after the first period, despite outshooting Calgary 15-6. The shots were closer in the middle two periods as Calgary built a 5-2 lead heading to the fourth.
The Attack hit a crossbar in the first half and was unable to hit an open net early in the third period.
“Those things happen in sports,” Proulx said. “The ringette gods weren’t with us today.”
The Attack kept coming in the fourth with Britney Snowdon cutting the deficit to two, but that would be as close as it would get even though Atlantic outshot Calgary 19-3 in the final 13 minutes.
“We’re not quitters,” Stratford defenceman Ashley Hollis said. “We know every game is going to be a grind. We work as hard as we can each and every shift and we don't give up until the last buzzer sounds.”
A mutual respect amongst the teams was evident after the game.
“Both teams were deserving of the win and it was just who was going to grind it out the best and they did, and they deserve it,” said Jessica Snowdon, one of the Attack’s captains. “I’m happy for them.”
After the game, the two teams met at centre ice for a group photo.
“It’s like one big family,” said Proulx, noting you can be adversaries on the ice during the game but friends after the competition. “The ringette community is really tight.”
The Attack was seeking a repeat after winning gold in Winnipeg a year ago. While this year’s medal is not the colour they were hoping for, it is an accomplishment to be proud of.
“Three medals in three years just shows we can compete,” Hollis said, noting it won silver in 2017.
Proulx said the Attack has had a lot of support in previous years on the road but this year’s championship was unique.
“This was special,” he said, noting the increased number of friends and family members who were able to attend this year’s event from throughout the Maritimes. “There was a big crowd for us. The crowd was in it the whole game. It’s unfortunate we couldn't deliver but the girls really appreciated the support.”
A look at the National Ringette League final between the Atlantic Attack and Calgary Rath, held Saturday at MacLauchlan Arena.
Calgary – 5.
Atlantic – 3.
Calgary – Justine Exner 2, Shaundra Bruvall, Jasmine Bearss and Terese Mazurkewich.
Atlantic – Britney Snowdon 2 and Miguelle Proulx.
Calgary – Shaundra Bruvall 3, Lauren Chown 2, Nicole Prokop, Emily Foster and Lindsey Geddes.
Atlantic – Miguelle Proulx 2, Martine Caissie 2, Madisson Gaudet and Taylor Gray.
Calgary – Breanna Beck, 53 saves on 56 shots.
Atlantic – Karine Doiron, 26 saves on 31 shots in 32:03; Nathalie Poirier, six saves on six shots.
Previous finishes for Atlantic Attack:
The National Ringette League handed out its regular season awards at Saturday's closing ceremonies of the Credit Union Canadian Ringette Championships. The winners were:
Most Valuable Player
Kelsey Youldon - Waterloo Wildfire
Rookie of the Year
Maddie MacLean – Waterloo Wildfire
Kaitlyn Youldon- Gatineau Fusion
Martine Cassie – Atlantic Attack
Erica Voss - Richmond Hill Lightning
Brea Beck – Calgary RATH
Coaching Staff of the Year
Waterloo Wildfire – Sheri Markle (head coach), Melanie Norris (assistant coach), Jim Harrison (assistant coach).
Julie Blanchette – Montreal Mission (124 points)
NRL Scoring Champion
Chantal St-Laurent – Gatineau Fusion (66 goals)