HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic
By Martin Cleary
Welcome to International Women’s Day 2021. Get ready for a plethora of women’s sports news in today’s Weekend Wrap, featuring hockey, freestyle wrestling and cross-country skiing. Women’s Sports Matters.
The NCAA Division 1 hockey conference championships saw a combined 15 graduates of the Ottawa Junior Lady Senators and Nepean Junior Wildcats programs skate in the finals with seven celebrating titles.
Kayle Osborne, the ECAC Rookie of the Year and the All-Rookie team goalie, stopped 12 of 14 shots as Colgate University edged St. Lawrence University 3-2 for the gold medal. The Lady Senators’ alumna has started 21 of 22 games in her freshman season (14-6-1).
Colgate senior Coralie Larose of Embrun, who spent one year with the Wildcats and two with the Lady Senators, has a career 22 goals and 32 assists. She is a three-time ECAC All-Academic award winner.
Freshman forward Gabi Jones of Potsdam, N.Y., and sophomore goalkeeper Caitlin Whitehead of Ottawa, a pair of Lady Senators’ grads, played for St. Lawrence in the final. Jones earned an assist on St. Lawrence’s first goal.
Freshman defenceman Lily Yovetich of Ottawa and formerly of the Lady Senators, picked up an assist on the second goal as Northeastern University rolled past Providence College 6-2 for the Huskies’ fourth Hockey East title in a row.
Defenceman Claire Tyo of Massena, N.Y., who was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team, and freshman forward Chloe McNeil of Ottawa played for the Lady Senators before moving to Providence. Tyo had three goals, eight assists in the regular season.
Robert Morris University needed only one goal to edge Syracuse University 1-0 in the College Hockey America championship game. Former Wildcats’ right-winger Maggy Burbidge assisted on the GWG, and sophomore defenceman Allyson Hebert, formerly of the Lady Senators, also celebrated.
The Syracuse roster has four Wildcats’ grads: junior forwards Abby Moloughney of Ottawa and Lauren Bellefontaine of Kemptville, junior defenceman Shelby Calof of Ottawa, and freshman forward Sarah Thompson of Ottawa. Amelia Van Vliet, a freshman forward from Kemptville, is the fifth Ottawa and area player on the Syracuse team. She formerly played with the Kingston Junior Ice Wolves.
For the second straight season, Moloughney was the top point scorer for Syracuse at 9-14-23 in 21 games. She also was named the CHA’s Best Defensive Forward and a member of the second conference All-Star team.
Maddi Wheeler, formerly of the Wildcats, was a rookie forward (two goals, two assists) for Wisconsin University which won the Western Collegiate Hockey Association championship with a 3-2 overtime decision over Ohio State. It was the Badgers’ ninth conference title.
Goaltender Kenzie Harmison of Smiths Falls and the Wildcats helped Long Island University win its second consecutive New England Women’s Hockey Association championship, sweeping a best-of-three series over Sacred Heart 3-2 (OT) and 5-2. She stopped a combined 47 out of 51 shots.
The NEWHA championship was decided between the only two teams in the league which survived the COVID-19 pandemic. Long Island was 5-8, while Sacred Heart was 1-10.
The NCAA Division 1 hockey quarterfinals will see Wisconsin play Providence, Boston College meet Ohio State, Northeastern face Robert Morris, and Colgate play Minnesota Duluth. The four winners advance to the Frozen Four on March 19-20 in Erie, PA.
Wiebe returns to top of international wrestling podium
Meanwhile in women’s freestyle wrestling, defending champion Erica Wiebe of Stittsville won four straight 76-kilogram-class matches, surrendered only one point and won the gold medal at the Matteo Pellicone ranking series tournament in Rome.
In the final match of the day on Friday, the 2016 Olympic gold medallist scored her last points in the final seconds to earn a 10-0 win by technical superiority over Samar Amer Ibrahim Hamza of Egypt.
“This tournament has some of the best wrestlers in the world. It’s a good check-in on where I’m at in my preparations. I’m still getting the kinks out, but overall, I’m happy with how I wrestled,” Wiebe said in a Wrestling Canada press release.
Developing nordic skiers crack top-30 at worlds
On the final weekend of the world cross-country ski championships in Oberstdorf, Germany, Katherine Stewart-Jones of Chelsea and Nakkertok Racing recorded her best-ever showing at this level, placing 23rd in the women’s 30-kilometre mass-start race. She was timed in one hour, 31 minutes and two seconds (6 mins 5.7 secs behind winner Therese Johaug of Norway).
“I went for it from the start, hoping I had a top-15 in me, but I wasn’t able to hold on. I’m proud of myself for being gutsy, even if I didn’t quite get the result I was looking for,” said Stewart-Jones, who was in 17th at about 20 kilometres.
Gatineau’s Antoine Cyr of Club Skinouk had an equally impressive result in the men’s 50-kilometre marathon, when he placed 27th in 2:15:24.8 (4 mins 38.3 secs) behind winner Emil Iversen of Norway.