By Andre Lodder
It took 59 minutes and 48 seconds, but the St. Theresa Titans finally broke through goaltender Bre Brunnet of the Moira Knights in the Central Ontario Secondary School Athletics girls hockey championship game.
After consistent pressure by the Titans, it was only a matter of time before they would score a goal.
The Titans CJ Tipping scored the goal that broke the scoreless tie with 12.1 seconds left on the clock in the third period.
Even Titans coach Rob Bunton was getting ready for an overtime that was looking to be a sure thing.
“We were actually prepared to go into overtime. I was trying to figure out what we were going to do,” said Bunton.
Although the Titans have been dominant, winning the last three COSSA titles, Bunton knew the team was in tough against a solid Knights team.
“We knew this team had a strong goaltender. We knew it was possibly going to be a low scoring game. We played them in two other low scoring games this year,” said Bunton.
“It was a tight game and I liked the way we kept attacking. We really didn’t back off even though it was scoreless. We didn’t get to defensive, we didn’t panic, I think the girls believed that if we kept on working, eventually a goal would come, and it did.”
Titans goalkeeper, Amelia Waugh said she was happy with the way the team played in front of her and credits the win to hard work.
“I think we probably played our best. We played hard, we never gave up, and scored with only 12 seconds left. It kind of makes you feel good,” said Waugh.
Despite the Knights loss, coach Todd Robertson said he was happy with the way the girls played in the championship game, especially when it came to the play of netminder Bre Bunnett.
“Our kids played their hearts out, every ounce of their skill and ability is out there all the time. Today was probably the best I’ve every seen our goalie play,” said Robertson.
Bunnett saw over 30 shots and kept her team in it until the dying seconds of the game — something Robertson could only describe as “bittersweet”.
“I just told them in there that they are going to be heroes in the hallways because this is as hard as this team — and this is a very strong team, we’ve been to COSSA two years in a row — has ever been pushed locally and I would suggest probably as hard as they’ve been pushed anywhere. We were taken to the limit basically, one unlucky bounce away from going to overtime,” said Robertson.
While the team played well all season long, Robertson wasn’t sure the team actually saw themselves come this close to winning the championships.
“I think the girls have built themselves up as the season went along. They’ve got a lot more confidence. This was their goal but I don’t know that they would’ve seen themselves here,” said Robertson.
With the COSSA championships out of the way, both teams now turn their focus to the OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) championships, which take place in Belleville March 21-24.