Provincial Silver for Richmond Hill’s U19A Lightning, News (Richmond Hill Ringette)

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Provincial Silver for Richmond Hill’s U19A Lightning
Submitted By Scott Thompson on Monday, March 23, 2015
Richmond Hill’s U19A-File Lightning team opened the six game round robin portion of the Provincial ‘A’ Championships with a solid 8-1 win over the Gloucester-Cumberland Devils. 

U19A_Prov_Silver_2.JPGFacing a tough draw in their second game, the Lightning gave up an early goal to the Guelph Predators before rallying back with two goals for a 2-1 lead at the half. The Lightning ran into penalty trouble early in the second half allowing the Predators to tie the score. The Predators then ran into penalty trouble themselves, giving the Lightning a 2 person advantage for a minute and a half with under 3 minutes to play, however the Predators goaltender stood tall and the game finished in a 2-2 draw. In their third game, the Lightning fell behind to an early goal but again rallied to take the lead en route to a 4-2 victory over the Newmarket Rays. The same pattern of falling behind early emerged in their fourth game where the Lighting again rallied back, this time for a 6-4 victory over the Burlington Blast. Facing the first ranked Forest Extreme in their fifth game, it looked like it was going to be another ominous start for the Lightning as they took a penalty in the first 30 seconds of play. However, a solid penalty kill resulted in a short-handed goal by Jacqueline Badgery and an early 1-0 Lightning lead. The Lightning stretched the lead to 3-0 by the half before trading goals in the final frame to give the Lightning their first win over the Extreme in four attempts this year. There was concern the team may come up flat in their final round robin game after the emotional victory over Forest, but those concerns were put to rest early as the Lightning came out firing on all cylinders and skated to a 6-1 victory over Whitby to finish first overall and undefeated after round robin play. The Lightning received a bye to the gold medal final where they waited for the winner of a Forest versus Guelph semi final matchup. The final was a rematch with the Guelph Predators who once again jumped into an early 1-0 lead, however the Lightning rallied back and tied the score when Jessica Dickie scored on a nifty set up from Talia Brock. Despite giving up very few scoring opportunities, the Lightning trailed 3-1 heading into the final frame. The Lightning came out strong and created numerous scoring opportunities which eventually resulted in a goal by Talia Brock to narrow the deficit to one goal. However, the Predators capitalized on a power-play opportunity two minutes later to restore a two goal lead and then relied heavily on their goaltender the rest of the way.  The Lightning held a 29-14 edge in shots but fell prey to the Predators on the scoreboard 4-2 to finish their season as Provincial Silver medalists. 

The U16A-McKnight didn’t get the start they wanted as they dropped their opening game against Forest 5-1. They rebounded with a narrow 3-2 victory over Ottawa before dropping a 5-0 decision to the eventual gold medalists from Timmins. The Lighting needed to win all three of their remaining games to have a chance at making the playoffs. The Lightning kept those playoff hopes alive with a solid 6-0 win over Arnprior, which they followed with a tidy 3-1 victory over West Ferris. Facing Clarence-Rockland Falcons in what turned out to be a must win for both teams in order to advance; the Lightning jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. However, the Falcons replied with 4 unanswered goals en route to a 6-2 decision. The Lightning finished with a respectable 3 wins, 3 loss record in a very competitive division.

The U14A-West team found themselves in similar territory as the U16A McKnight team. After dropping their first game 5-0 to the Gloucester-Cumberland Devils, the Lightning responded with a solid 4-2 win over the London Lynx. However a narrow 3-2 loss to the eventual gold medalists from Forest meant that they too would likely need to win all three of their remaining games to have any chance at advancing to the playoffs. The Lighting took down Ottawa 4-1 before defeating a very good St Catherine’s Comets team 4-3. Facing the number one ranked Timmins team in what turned out to be a must win game for both squads, the Lightning powered their way to a 7-4 win to finished round robin play with an identical record as the Comets. Tie breaker rules determined that the Lightning and Comets needed to play a ten minute mini game to determine which team would advance. With three seconds remaining in the mini game, the Comets scored on a power play to end what had been a remarkable run by the Lightning at the Provincials. 

All in all, a very good showing for all Lightning teams at the Provincial ‘A’ Championships.
 
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