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Jeffery’s four points lead P.E.I. past B.C. One in final round-robin game
It is mission accomplished for the P.E.I. Wave at the 2019 Credit Union Canadian ringette championships.
The Wave began play in the Under-16 Division with the goal of finishing in the top 12 to qualify for the playoff round. A 6-3 victory over British Columbia One at Credit Union Place in Summerside on Thursday realized that goal. P.E.I. completed round-robin play a very respectable 4-2 (won-lost).
“The whole year we were working towards this and we got better every single game,” said the Wave’s Addie MacPhee of Souris. “This is what we wanted to happen.”
The Wave was scheduled to play a playoff game in Summerside against Alberta Two on Thursday at 6 p.m.
“We really worked hard for this and it’s really good to have it happen to us,” said Grace MacKinnon of the Wave. “I am proud of everyone.”
P.E.I. and British Columbia One entered their final round-robin game with identical 3-2 records.
“Whoever won that automatically got in the top 12 and whoever lost has to play a mini game, which is a 10-minute game against Quebec for fourth place because two teams are 3-3 in our pool,” explained Wave head coach Francois Caron. “I’ve done one of those before and it is very stressful.
“It is a 10-minute period and, if there is no winner, you play sudden-death overtime until someone wins. There is no plus-minus figured out to get in or get out like most tournaments.”
Against B.C. One, Sophia Jeffery had two goals and two assists to lead the Wave. Single goals were scored by Alexa Carpenter, Mia Martell, Delaney Roche and Nellie Campbell.
Pyper White, Emily Ma and Casey Lo replied for B.C. One.
“The defence worked really hard and the forwards put the ring in the net,” assessed the 16-year-old MacKinnon of Emyvale. “It really worked for us (Thursday).”
Sarah Bain and Kenzy Hawkins both saw time in P.E.I.’s goal. Bain stopped 25 of 28 shots in 38:26 of action while Hawkins turned aside both shots she faced in 1:34 of play.
“We’ve had the mindset that we can play with anybody when we come and play at our best,” said Caron. “Certainly, against B.C., the girls came out to play.
“We talked about three games in the pre-game (meeting) – using our feet because we are a real good skating team and can be fast, using our mind to make sure we put the ring in the right place and make sure we have a good, fun attitude and when we are loose we play the best. They went out and did that.”
The Wave took a 4-0 lead into the second half, but B.C. One made things interesting.
“We gave up two (goals) to make it 4-2 and you could feel the tension in the rink getting a little tighter, but then we had a really good push-back shift after they scored their second and got that three-goal spread again,” said Caron. “That was very important for us.”
MacPhee noted the Wave understood the importance of Thursday’s game.
“This was definitely a good game for us,” said MacPhee, 16. “It was one of our faster ones and I think we were skating hard.
“You could definitely tell this was a do-or-die game for us, and we wanted it.”
Regardless what happens in the playoffs, the Wave has proven P.E.I. can compete with any team in Canada. Along with its win over B.C. One, P.E.I. defeated Ontario One 2-1, Alberta Six 6-5 and Manitoba Two 4-1 while losing 6-3 to Alberta Three and 4-3 to Quebec One in round-robin play.
“It’s a testament to the hard work these girls have put in,” said Caron. "We’ve had them on fitness programs all year, we’ve been practising once a week all season and we’ve also had the good fortune of playing against the New Brunswick team quite a bit. I think we’ve played them 14, 15 times and they are a strong program. Some days we take in on the chin and some days we are very competitive with them, and that has helped us as well.”
The P.E.I. Wave under-19 team took a 2-5 record into Thursday afternoon’s game against Alberta Two in Summerside.