Cowichan girls give Campbell River a run in Bantam female hockey tournament final

High-scoring affair to conclude four-team event ends in a 7-6 loss

The Cowichan Valley Bantam Female hockey team hosted a tournament Dec 15-17, with North Shore, Campbell River and Saanich as its opponents and three different arenas utilized, including Fuller Lake.

The tournament started slowly for Cowichan with a 3-3 tie against Saanich. The game MVP award went to goalie Mackenna Tew.

Goals were scored by Taylor Svendson (2) and Elli Relova Clegg. Kaitlin Pierce played a solid game on defence.

The next game was against Campbell River which had a strong lineup for the weekend and the Caps came out flat, losing 5-0. The game MVP was Dakota Tew, who was feisty on defense despite being the smallest player on the ice against the much bigger Campbell River team.

Saturday night’s game against North Shore brought a much better effort and the girls won handily.

Game MVP was Emma Kruk. The Caps spread the scoring around with two goals by Dakota Tew and singles from Olivia Wing, Kaliyah St.Amand, Ava Kennedy and Ella Stone. Tianna Marleau had an excellent game up-front and created a couple of opportunities to score from her hard forecheck.

The results put Cowichan in second place heading into Sunday’s playoffs and a match-up with Saanich at Fuller Lake. Bianca Steele had her usual agressive game on defence rushing the puck up ice creating opportunities and was awarded game MVP.

The Caps prevailed 3-1 with goals from Stone, Kruk and Emma Wright.

Then it was onto the final in Lake Cowichan versus Campbell River which had beaten North Shore in the other playoff game.

“The girls knew they had to have a better effort and play hard all three periods,” noted head coach Darrin St. Amand, who has Brad Scafe and Kris Kennedy as his assistant coaches.

The first period ended 3-2 for Campbell River, with Caps tallies from Svendson and Rori Wratten.

In the second, Wright scored but the Caps were still down 4-3. Aran Mills, playing defence for the first time this season, had a solid effort all game and it continued into the third.

The third period did not start well for the Caps and they fell behind 6-3. They battled back with two goals from defenceman Chloe Bergman, but then Campbell River scored to push the lead to two.

With the goalie pulled, Cowichan scored to close within a goal and under two minutes remaining. With the Caps headed up-ice on a two-on-one and one last chance for the equalizer, time expired, and Campbell River prevailed 7-6.

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