For just the second time this year, the Sudbury Midget "AA" Lady Wolves came close to seeing their undefeated streak come to an end in Lower Lakes Female Hockey League play.
But a 1-1 tie with the Etobicoke Dolphins on Sunday, combined with a 6-2 win over the Barrie Sharks on Saturday, has coach Jay Duncan and company sitting pretty at 17-0-2, with just three regular season games remaining before the playoffs and playdowns begin.
Lauren Hancock netted a pair of goals to help the Lady Wolves sink the Sharks, with Katie Chomiak, Alexe Clavelle, Taylor Scott and Madison Laberge adding one goal each. Abby Patterson buried the only Sudbury goal against Etobicoke.
Holding a seven point lead over the second place Toronto Aeros (12-2-5), the locals are at home this Thursday to face the North Bay Ice Boltz (9-7-3) in Coniston, before making one final trip south this month for games against the Vaughan Flames (Saturday) and the Aeros on Sunday.
In February, the team will then begin to tackle the LLFHL playoff schedule, with an eye on Championship Weekend (March 29th to 31st), as well as working in their schedule for the regional playdown against North Bay, the winner advancing to OWHA provincials in early April.
Win or lose, the Midget "AA" Lady Wolves will be at home later that month, the host team for the 2019 Esso Cup that will bring together six of the top teams in the country for a week-long tournament at the Gerry McCrory Sports Complex.
Still with the 2001 girls, forward Jenna Miller has confirmed her formal commitment to the Mount Allison Mounties in Sackville (New Brunswick) next fall.
With players from Ajax, Oakville, Nepean, Whitby and Ottawa already on their roster, the Mounties clearly enjoy bringing Ontario talent east. The Sudbury Midget "A" Lady Wolves, meanwhile, will not finish with an unbeaten record, but will finish in no worse than second place in the Central East Division as the team wrapped up their schedule with games the past two weekends.
On Jan. 12 and 13, the locals posted a 2-1 mark, bouncing back from a 3-0 loss to the North York Storm to trim the Markham-Stouffville Stars 1-0 the next day, followed by a 5-0 win over the Vaughan Flames later that evening.
Danielle Pitre netted the game's only goal versus the Stars, while Kayden Charbonneau, Chloe Leduc, Hannah Nykilchyk, Vanessa McKinnon and Joelle Gagnon all hit paydirt in the weekend finale.
The team cranked up the offense this past Saturday, blasting the King Royals by a final score of 8-0 as Nykilchyk buried the hat trick for Sudbury. Joining her in the offensive outburst were Myah Fillion, Danielle Pitre, Jenna Lachance, Emilie Pelletier and Chloe Leduc.
Their regular season would conclude with a record of 17-3-2 following a 2-2 tie with North York, as Lachance and Fillion were back on the scoresheet for the second time in as many days.
The Sudbury Bantam "AA" Lady Wolves closed out their regular season on a winning note, after suffering a pair of setbacks to kick off last weekend in Vaughan. The northern crew were blanked 1-0 by the Toronto-Leaside Wildcats and lost 4-1 to the Aurora Panthers Saturday night, settling the score somewhat on Sunday morning with a 4-3 win over the Panthers.
Finally, the Sudbury Bantam "A" Lady Wolves closed out their regular season schedule last Thursday, playing to a scoreless draw with the North Bay Ice Boltz in Coniston.
The result leaves the locals with a record of 14-4-4 (32 points), tied for second place in the LLFHL Central Division with the Ice Boltz (15-2-2), their rivals still holding three games in hand.
Thankfully, with the Etobicoke Dolphins sitting at 29 points, with just one game remaining, and no other adversaries within ten points of the Lady Wolves, the locals will finish no worse than third.