By Sarah O. Swenson
Despite having only 10 dressed skaters, the Loyalist Sharks women’s hockey club made a strong semi-final showing at the Fleming tournament in Lindsay last Friday, March. 9, 2012.
The Sharks were looking to improve on their quarter-final finish at the University of Toronto tournament held last November.
“I think the team put forth an amazing effort in the tournament today,” said Brooke Abbott, a second-year health and fitness promotion student.
“Playing four repetitive, competitive hockey games in a row is extremely strenuous on your body and I feel like as a team we played together and did our absolute best.”
The Sharks opened the tournament on the wrong foot, falling to Fleming 3-0, but bounced back in the second game to beat Fanshawe in a closely contested match 2-1, with Sharon Kennedy scoring the game winner in the dying minutes of the third period.
The ladies offense continued their scoring ways and pummelled Lakehead Orillia 5-0. Though not called on often, goaltender Kim Van Pelt was solid between the pipes when called upon and earned herself the shutout.
“We have a lot of natural talent and we’ve really come together as a team,” said defenceman Steph Crosier, a second-year journalism student.
On the strength of their 1-1-1 round robin record, the Sharks advanced to the semi-final round, where they faced off against Humber. A very even contest, the game ended in a scoreless draw, forcing a shootout to declare the winner. Humber came out on top.
“I feel like we completely deserved to be in the finals and it hurt that we lost in a shootout,” said Abbott.
Humber went on to take the tournament, beating Seneca in a 2-1 shootout win.
“I think for our small school, we did very well against the big schools,” said coach Pete Williams. “It’s kind of nice to go in and beat everyone in their matching uniforms.”
In addition to their tournament play, the ladies take part in the college’s men’s recreational league on Tuesday nights. The Sharks had never even won a game in league action prior to this year, when they finished second in the standings.