The ringette season has officially begun for the four Timmins Tornadoes Provincial A Teams who brought home two gold and two silver medals from Nepean on November 22nd. This is a great start for our local teams who are aiming for a successful season leading up to the Provincial A Ringette Championships being held in Timmins next March, when over 50 teams will be coming to town for an exciting weekend of championship games in 4 age divisions from U14A to 18+A.
The U12 Provincial Petite Team went to Nepean with a majority of new players this season who have never competed at the provincial level. They came out with an explosion, winning their first game 8-4 over the City of Ottawa. In game 2, this young squad quickly learned that in the fastest game on ice, things can turn around quickly. After leading 8-3 in the second half, the Nepean team fought back and managed to tie things up, with a final score of 8-8. In Game 3 the team proved that an awesome defense can win games. And that they did, beating West Ottawa 5-1. Heading into game 4, there was a lot of pressure on these young girls to beat the highly favoured Gloucester-Cumberland (GCRA) team. Down by one goal with just under a minute left in the game, the Tornadoes pulled their goalie and answered to the pressure by scoring the tying goal which secured their spot in the Finals. They would face the same strong GCRA team for the gold medal. The final was a battle! The players had to adjust their game to handle the more physical play of their opponent. Drained, battered and exhausted, the Tornadoes won the battle in a 6-5 victory over GCRA with an exceptional team effort. Coach Eric Letourneau was proud of his young team, explaining that “The victory was a result of great teamwork, and every player contributed to the very best of her abilities. Our offense provided great goals and our defense was a solid wall around the net. Our goalies were a solid last line of defense. Their gold medal was well-deserved!”
This year’s Tween U14A ringette team also played their first game together as a team, with several new players and only a few returning from last year’s squad. The team was undefeated in round robin play, having faced teams from Whitby (10-1), Nepean (6-3) and Upper Ottawa Valley (8-2). In the semi-finals, Timmins met Whitby a second time, defeating them 6-1. With a perfect record heading into the finals, the pressure was on. In the gold medal game, Timmins once again faced off against Upper Ottawa Valley, with Timmins securing the gold medal with a 7-3 win. Coach Jason Brousseau was not surprised at the exceptional effort of his team. “I’m extremely proud of how the girls played as a complete team, from the goal scoring through to the solid defense, not to mention the outstanding net minding from our two goalies.”
The Tornadoes U16A team headed to Nepean as the defending Ontario Provincial A Ringette Champions. They worked tirelessly the entire tournament as the rookie players learned to gel with the team’s returning core. They finished with three wins and 1 loss in round robin play; losing only to a strong team from Ajax. The high firing Tornadoes led their 6 team pool with 17 goals over the four games. In goal, they were led by Sonia Viel, who allowed only 8 goals during round robin play. In the Finals on Sunday, the Tornadoes once again found themselves playing the Ajax team, only this time the gold medal was on the line. The team came out of the gates hard, and maintained a lead of 2-1 heading into the final minutes of the game. But things turned quickly and Ajax managed to score two quick goals, resulting in a 3-2 final score for Ajax, and a silver medal for Timmins. Coach Rick Dagenais was pleased with his team’s performance in their first tournament of the season. “I was quite impressed with our team’s play. In every single game we dominated in speed and ring possession. We were able to pinpoint areas to work on, but overall we are further ahead than anticipated.”
Finally, the U19A Belle squad also completed the round robin with an impressive 3-1 record. In their first game of the season, the girls came out flying defeating Oshawa 6-0, giving our goalie Kayla Short a well-deserved shut out. Timmins then went on to defeat GCRA by a score of 4-0, earning our other goalie, Isabelle Chartier, her first shut out of the season. Game 3 against the City of Ottawa was a bit more challenging for the Timmins team, but they came out on top by a score of 5-3, which set up the match of the two undefeated teams on Saturday evening, West Ottawa and Timmins. The game went into the second half tied, but Timmins was unable to hold off the strong West Ottawa offence and lost the exciting match 6-4. This ended up being a preview of the gold medal game between the same two teams. Timmins fought hard in the final, but was unable to control the highly offensive West Ottawa team, losing 7-4 and settling for the silver medal. Coach Danya Desjardins was impressed with her team’s effort and is looking forward to an exciting season. “The girls did a lot of things right, and I think we’ve learned some areas we need to work on. The silver medal is a great start and now we have to prepare for our next tournament in Waterloo in January.”
Four Provincial Teams from a small northern community bringing home four medals is a testament to the excellent ringette program that is offered here in Timmins. In fact, ours is recognized as one of the best in the province, considering the size of our community and geographic challenges teams face in terms of travelling to compete. Year after year there are Timmins teams represented in the top tier of teams for the Provincial Championships. Last season, the Timmins U16A team was crowned provincial champion and moved on to represent Ontario, and Timmins in Moncton. This was no small feat and something our community can be proud of!
If you are interested in helping to execute a memorable 2016 Provincial Championship event right here in our home town for over 50 ringette teams from across the province, either through volunteering your time or providing sponsorships or donations, please contact Timmins Ringette President Yves Viel 705- 264-0009 or go to the TRA website at www.timminsringette.com. Let’s work together to Light Up the North!!