Every season, the Eastview Wildcats come to dominate the competition. But despite the girls hockey team’s skill level, they haven’t been able to win the last game of the season and come out on top as champions.
This year, there was a determination to change that and Eastview’s fantastic Simcoe County season was capped with a Georgian Bay Secondary School Association (GBSSA) triple-A championship. The Wildcats defeated St. Theresa’s Thunder 3-1 to reign atop girls hockey in the region.
“This current group of Grade 12s have been very close on three previous occasions only to come up short, but not for a lack of effort,” said Wildcats coach Martin Carl.
In the team’s opening game of the season, Eastview fell 2-1 to the St. Peter’s Panthers, another powerful Catholic squad. From then on in, the Wildcats would go on to win 22 games. During regular-season action, Eastview was even more dominant, not even surrendering a single goal until the last two minutes of their final contest.
The girls team featured a number of players suiting up for both the Barrie Sharks and the Aurora Panthers of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League and the skill was evident throughout the lineup. That allowed them to breeze through the Simcoe County Athletic Association (SCAA) semifinals and championship with 6-0 and 3-0 victories, respectively, over the Innisdale Invaders and Banting Marauders.
Eastview made it back to the GBSSA final, where they had been a year ago but had fallen short.
The Wildcats had some early nerves but killed off a penalty within the first few minutes to settle them down. On their own power play, late in the first period, the Wildcats would strike, as Kristin Hardy gave Eastview the lead with eight seconds left in the frame.
Jenna Mowat would double the Wildcats advantage in the second period, and, once again, Eastview’s penalty kill would come up big, killing off a five-on-three that lasted for a minute and 53 seconds. The special-teams work of the Wildcats continued to be a difference-maker as, on a power play shortly after being two players down, Emma Wilson scored and pushed Eastview ahead 3-0. Although St. Theresa’s would get one back late in the third, that’s all they could muster, as the Wildcats finally won it all.
“Eastview has won more GBSSA girls hockey championships than any other school, but since winning five in six years starting in 2000, we hit a dry spell,” Carl said.
It has been a special year so far. The Wildcats squad posted the top record at the Pink Puck Cup, won a tournament at York University and now have taken both the SCAA and GBSSA championships. They now move on to the provincial championship at Cambridge in late March.
Photo courtesy of Martin Carl