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HIGH ACHIEVERS WEEKEND WRAP: Ottawa Sens win U22 silver at women’s hockey provincials, Kanata scores gold & 2 silver

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By Martin Cleary

Girls on skates with sticks in two different sports celebrated the high point of their seasons on the weekend as some players earned medals or awards, but everyone returned home with multiple memories.

In dozens of arenas in the Greater Toronto Area and Ajax, 522 girls and women’s hockey teams gathered to determine medallists in 27 age classes at the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association provincial championships.

Ottawa and area teams took part in the end-of-tournament celebrations by winning one gold, seven silver and two bronze medals.

The Canadian ringette championships were staged in Regina for female teams in the U16, U19 and National Ringette League divisions. While the four Ottawa-Gatineau representatives didn’t qualify for the medal matches, they were a notable force in the consolation rounds and on the end-of-season award list.


Hanna-Riikka Turpeinen completed a memorable first season as head coach of the Ottawa Senators U22 Elite team, watching her 17- and 18-year-old players win the U22 AA division silver medal at the OWHA provincial championships.

After a third-period rally allowed the Senators to overcome the Mississauga Hurricanes and advance to the playoffs with a round-robin record of 2-1, the Senators defeated the Kingston Ice Wolves 5-2 in the quarterfinals and the Burlington Barracudas 2-1 in the semifinals.

The Barracudas were the top team (35-4-4) in the OWHA U22 Elite League’s West Division, while the Senators placed third in the East Division at 25-8-10.

In the gold-medal final, the Senators faced East Division champion Durham West Lightning and dropped a 2-1 decision to earn the silver medal.

“It was definitely a great season with great players in a great environment,” Turpeinen said in a phone interview.

The Senators were fully motivated and prepared for the provincial championship, after their league playoffs ended early at the round-robin stage.

“The provincials were really, really great,” she added. “The level of hockey is so high. They were all tight games. We were really fit and ready to go. It came down to execution.

“Everyone contributed. They moved the puck and made smart plays. Everyone bought into the system. They were confident.”

The Senators played more than 70 games this season, which included winning the Stoney Creek, uOttawa and Quebec City tournaments.

“It had a lot to do with a great group of character and talented players,” said Turpeinen, who praised their accountability, consistency and willingness to listen and learn. “Everyone brought something to the table.”

Meanwhile, the Kanata Rangers had a stellar provincial championship, winning one gold and two silver medals.

The Rangers won their U15BB round-robin pool at 3-0, scoring seven goals and allowing only one. In the elimination playoff round, the Rangers defeated Toronto Leaside Wildcats 3-1 in the quarterfinals, London Devilettes 1-0 in the semifinals and Otonabee Wolverines 2-1 in the final.

In the U15C division, the Rangers posted back-to-back shutouts for a quarter-final victory over St. Mary’s Rock (2-0) and a semi-final win against Upper Maitland Mustangs (1-0). The Rangers were involved in another shutout, but the Township of Chatsworth and District Girls’ Hockey Association held the upper hand in the final at 2-0.

The Rangers’ U13C team won five straight games to reach their final – 2-0 over Huron, 2-1 over Woodstock, 6-0 over Chatham-Kent, 4-0 over Chatsworth and 2-0 over Glengarry – before falling 3-0 to Wingham.

The region’s other provincial silver medallists were Ottawa Ice U18BB (losing 4-1 to Napanee Crunch in the final), Gloucester-Cumberland Stars U13AA (losing 3-0 to North York Storm in the final), Nepean Wildcats U11AA (losing 2-1 to Oakville Hornets in the final) and Carleton Place Cyclones U11B (losing 1-0 to West Northumberland Wild in the final).

Smiths Falls Cubs earned bronze medals in the U18C and U11C classes.


Ottawa’s Youldon sisters were front and centre at the Canadian ringette championships in Regina on and off the ice.

Kaitlyn, a forward for the Calgary RATH, and Kelsey, a centre for the Waterloo Warriors, went head-to-head in the National Ringette League’s bronze-medal match and the former emerged with the medal, after a 4-1 victory.

Calgary’s opening goal was scored by Erin Ung with an assist from Kaitlyn Youldon.

Edmonton WOW won the NRL gold medal with a 7-4 decision over the Montreal Mission. Gatineau Fusion was third in its pool at 4-1, while Nepean Ravens were fifth in their pool at 1-4. Both Gatineau and Nepean lost their only game in the championship round.

Kaitlyn Youldon was named the NRL’s most valuable player for the 2022-23 season, while Kelsey was selected to the national championships’ second-line all-star team along with Gatineau’s Julie Vandal.

The Ravens were the consolation champions, defeating Saskatchewan Heat 7-6 in overtime in the semifinals, and the Edmonton Black Gold Rush 5-4 in the final.

Brooke Wasylyshyn scored the game-winning goal in the final and had a multiple-point game, including an assist, along with Olivia Edissi, one goal and two assists, and Laiya Evraire, one goal and one assist.

In the semifinal, Jalena Marelic counted the overtime winner against the Heat and finished with four points. Molly Lewis had three goals and five points and Allison Biewald supported with one goal and four points.

Lewis was selected the NRL’s top centre. Barb Bautista, who formerly lived in Gloucester, and her Calgary RATH assistant coaches Nicole Prokop and Dallas Robbins and trainer Jeffrey Ung were named the coaching staff of the year.

After winning its opening U19 consolation-round game 6-2 over Team Manitoba, the Gloucester-Cumberland Devils fell 6-3 to Team New Brunswick in the final.

Morgan Forrest, who was a first-line U19 all-star, had two assists in the final and one goal and three assists in the semifinals.

The Devils finished fourth in their round-robin pool at 2-3 and lost their only championship-round game 6-5 in overtime to Team British Columbia.

West Ottawa Wild started strong in the U16 division, placing second in its pool at 3-1-1, but lost its lone championship-round match 7-6 to Team Saskatchewan in overtime.

Team Quebec also needed overtime to turn back the Wild 4-3 in its consolation-round opener. Emily Barteaux was the top scorer for the Wild in the round robin with eight goals and two assists.


Kanata’s Jamie Lee Rattray earned her sixth career medal at the world women’s hockey championship, but it wasn’t the colour of her dreams.

Rattray, who won world gold in 2021 and 2022, settled for a third silver medal, after the United States scored three late goals for a 6-3 decision over Canada in the championship game in Brampton. She also scored the game-winning goal in the ninth round of shoot-outs during a preliminary round win over the United States.

Read More: Jamie Lee Rattray plays hero’s role to end 9-round shootout in Canada’s women’s hockey worlds win over USA

In seven world championship games last week, Rattray had one goal and she recorded her third assist in the final. She had eight minutes and 27 seconds of ice time over 16 shifts in the gold-medal game.

Rattray’s other silver medals were in 2015 and 2016. She also earned a bronze medal with Canada in 2019.

Canada reached the final defeating Switzerland 5-1 in the semifinals and Sweden 3-2 in overtime in the quarterfinals.


The focused and steady play of doubles specialist Gabriela Dabrowski of Gloucester and the youthful power of Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, PQ., allowed Canada to turn back Belgium’s Greet Minnen and Kirsten Flipkens and earn a berth in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals Nov. 7-12 at a site to be determined.

Dabrowski and Fernandez roared past Minnen and Flipkens 6-1, 6-2 in the rubber match of their two-day Cup qualifier in Vancouver. Canada won the best-of-five series 3-2.

The Canadian pair won the opening set in 25 minutes as they teamed to capture 76 per cent of their first-serve points and 100 per cent of their second-serve points. Fernandez’s serve was a decisive feature and Dabrowski covered the court well.

In the second set, Dabrowski and Fernandez carried that momentum forward and broke the service of Minnen and Flipkens twice. Dabrowski is ranked No. 7 in the world in women’s doubles, while Fernandez recently reached her first WTA 1000 doubles final with American Taylor Townsend.

“We’re so excited and so pumped to reach the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup Finals. This week has been a total rollercoaster,” Dabrowski said, after her decisive match.

“There were times we thought we were down and out, but we weren’t. I think that goes to show the resilience of every single one of our players on the team. It has been really special.”

In her last four Billie Jean King Cup doubles’ matches, Dabrowski has walked off the court with a win for Canada.


International women’s rugby on several levels will be front and centre at TD Place Stadium from July 8-14.

The Pacific Four Series, a cross-regional international women’s rugby tournament, will continue with Canada playing six-time world champion New Zealand Ferns on July 8 and Australia on July 14. The United States will face Australia on July 8 and New Zealand on July 14.

The top three teams will qualify for the inaugural WXV, a new three-tier annual global women’s international 15s competition. The bottom team will drop to Tier 2. Canada defeated the U.S. 50-17 on April 1 in a Pacific Four Series match in Spain.

It has been eight years since international women’s rugby was played in Canada, when it played host to New Zealand, the U.S., and England in the 2015 Women’s Rugby Super Series.

In between the July 8 and 14 competition dates, Canada’s U20 women’s rugby team will meet the U18 Canada East team in several matches. Canada’s U20 team also will meet the England U20 squad before the July 8 doubleheader.


Ottawa’s Annabelle Chukwu and Rosa Maalouf have both scored three goals through Canada’s two dominant opening matches at the CONCACAF women’s U-20 championship qualifying tournament in Dominican Republic.

Chukwu scored twice and Maalouf once as their team set a record for most different goal-scorers (10) by a Canadian national squad in a 15-0 rout of Martinique. Then Maalouf scored a pair and Chukwu added one as Canada trounced St. Vincent and the Grenadines 12-0.

The Ottawa South United Soccer Club products will face Cuba on Thursday and El Salvador on Sunday. Canada must win its group to advance to the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship May 24-June 3, again in Dominican Republic. USA and Mexico have already qualified for the eight-team finals, where three tickets to next year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup will be available.


· Ottawa Curling Club’s Mike McLean finished third in his round-robin pool with a 5-2 record at the Ontario mixed curling championship in Woodstock, but was quickly eliminated in the semifinals, losing 9-0 after three ends to St. Thomas Curling Club’s Scott McDonald.

· Liz Maguire of the Ottawa Lions completed the Boston Marathon in three hours, 18 minutes, 16 seconds to finish 10th in the women’s 55-59 age class, while Rob Muir finished 109th in the men’s 55-59 division in 3:10.18. Joshua Cassidy was 19th in the wheelchair division in 1:47:02.

· Ottawa Next Level were the top-ranking local team as Ottawa hosted the Ontario Cup U12 girls’ basketball event this past weekend, placing fifth in Division 2. Gloucester went 4-1 to finish fifth in Div. 3, while Ottawa South won Div. 5 and the Nepean Blue Devils topped Div. 6.

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic

Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 50 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.

When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at

Martin can be reached by e-mail at and on Twitter @martincleary.

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