The Dryden Observer

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Eagles girls’ hockey team going to OFSAA

By Sarah Madussi
The Eagles girls’ hockey team has done it again. The team earned their fifth NorWOSSA gold medal in the last six years and is off to the OFSAA Championships in Wingham, ON March 22-25.
The girls needed a third game to beat out the Thomas Aquinas Saints in the semi-final after taking game one at home with a 5-1 decision and losing to th Saints 3-1 on their home ice.
The Eagles managed a 5-2 decision in game three at the Dryden Memorial Arena on March 2 to earn their spot in the NorWOSSA finals.
The girls beat out the Beaver Brae Broncos in two straight games in the best-of-three series, earning a 3-2 win at home on Thursday, March 4 and a 2-1 win in Keewatin on Sunday, March 7.
In round one of the two-game final, Dryden took the Broncos in a thrilling 3-2 victory, which saw all but one goal scored on the powerplay.
Lauren Shoguchi opened the scoring for the Eagles in the first five minutes of the game to take an early lead. The Broncos retaliated, however, with a goal of their own on a 5-on-3 powerplay.
Claire Paquette would regain the Eagles lead with a late powerplay goal, bring the Eagles up 2-1 before the end of the first period.
The Broncos would score once more on the powerplay to tie the game at two before Alex Wesley netted the winning goal for the Eagles, also on a powerplay.
Coach Brad Bartlett says 5-on-5 hockey between these two teams is pretty equal and that both games could have gone either way.
“One goal in the entire series was scored with 5-on-5 so I think that’s a testament to both teams’ ability to play defence for sure and both goaltenders in the series I thought played fantastic, both Bree Brown and Ferguson for Kenora.”
Game two between these two teams saw similar action with all three goals in the game being scored on the powerplay.
Kristen Bartlett tapped in the first powerplay goal eight minutes into the first period and the Eagles carried that lead through to almost the end of the second period when Morgan Church slammed in the one-timer off a pass from Lauren Shoguchi, also on the powerplay.
The Broncos would get on the board two minutes later with a hard one-timer past goaltender Breanna Brown during a Broncos powerplay. The Eagles fended off the Broncos for the rest of the second period.
The third period proved to be a nail-biter as the Eagles and Broncos played end-to-end ice for a solid 20 minutes. Brown made some crucial saves late in the third to keep the girls in the lead after a few scrambles in front of the net had the Dryden crowd holding their breath.
The Eagles managed to hang on to the one-goal lead for the win and the NorWOSSA gold medal. The team’s next step is the all-Ontario championships at the end of the month and they’re looking for more than just round robin action.
“To guarantee us a spot in the championship bracket, we’re probably going to have to come out of the round robin 3-0, which we did last year. The expectation this year is to make it out of the round robin play at least. It’s a long ways to go to play three games and then get shipped back home really quick.”
The team has a couple of weeks to get some practice in before heading down to Wingham, ON for the OFSAA tournament.

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