The Markham-Stouffville Bantam Classic has become something of a tradition for those teams of 13- and 14-year-old girls representing the Lady Wolves.
Based on the results again this year, that is not likely to change anytime soon.
The Sudbury Bantam B Lady Wolves put together an impressive six-game winning streak Dec. 14-16, rewarded with gold medals for their efforts.
The locals kicked things off Dec. 14 with a 3-0 shutout of the Scarborough Sharks as France Belanger, with a pair, and Megan Smith provided all of the offensive support that Sudbury goaltender Lena Bertrim would need.
The attack continued to fire on all cylinders for head coach Mardy St. Jacques and company as the Lady Wolves outscored the Durham West Lightning 4-1, picking up their second straight victory.
Belanger was joined on the scoresheet by Courtney MacIsaac, Keagen McCoshen and Serina Seguin.
Game 3 was closer as Madison Pincivero drilled home the game-winner in a 2-1 triumph over the Markham-Stouffville Stars, with Anik Paradis opening the scoring earlier in the game for Sudbury.
The Northern crew emerged from preliminary-round play with a flawless record of 4-0, thanks to a 2-0 win over the North Durham Blades. “Chippy” Hannah backstopped the team between the pipes, with Smith and Seguin finding the back of the net for the winners.
Despite their impressive mark, the Lady Wolves would finish third as a tournament format that grouped together all 12 teams into a single division provided very little room for error.
And errors were indeed minimal for the local ladies, advancing to the championship final on the back of a 2-0 win over the Napanee Crunch. Chloe Hogue and Brooke St Jacques both broke through with their first goals of the tournament as Bertrim recorded her second shutout in three games.
Battling the Ingersoll Ice in the finals on Dec. 16, Sudbury appeared in complete control, leading 3-1 with two minutes to play. Goals by Seguin, Hogue and St Jacques were not enough after Ingersoll pulled to within one, scoring on the power play with 1:25 remaining before punching home the tying marker with only 4.9 seconds showing on the clock.
Somehow, the Lady Wolves managed to overcome the disappointment of a squandered lead, playing through a scoreless overtime session to force a shootout. With Hannah making stops on all three attempts by the Ice, it was left to MacIsaac to provide the heroics, registering the only penalty shot goal as Sudbury earned gold with a 4-3 win.
The members of the winning team included Courtney MacIsaac, Megan Potvin, Taylor Brooks, Keagen McCoshen, Anna Barbeau, Madison Pincivero, "Chippy" Hannah, France Belanger, Serina Seguin, Brooke St Jacques, Megan Smith, Chloe Hogue, Danielle Battistelli, Enara Iturregui, Anik Paradis, Lena Bertrim, head coach Mardy St Jacques, assistants Brent Battistelli and Mark MacIsaac, trainers Sheryl Smith and Nicole Paradis and team manager Dennis Hannah.
Meanwhile, the Sudbury Bantam AA Lady Wolves might not have advanced to the playoff round, but the team provided a pretty solid account of themselves with a very tough draw in Markham-Stouffville.
Opening against one of the province's top teams Dec. 14, the Lady Wolves were blanked 3-0 by the Ottawa Senators, bouncing back with an impressive 4-1 win over the Whitby Wildcats.
Megan McGaughey paced the Sudbury attack with a two-goal effort, with singles coming courtesy of Marina Plexman and Melissa Martel. Only captain Melisa Kingsley could find the back of the net in a 3-1 loss to the London Devilettes, though the locals would even their mark at 2-2 thanks to a 3-2 win over the North York Storm.
Joelle Belanger recorded the game-winning goal, with McGaughey and Ashley McKerral scoring once each as the Bantam AA Lady Wolves finished 10th, narrowly missing out on advancing to the quarter-finals.
Tournament play for the Lady Wolves crew resumes in early January as the Scarborough Sharks Ice Trials Tournament welcomes a handful of Sudbury teams to the GTA.