Female U18 Development Program Trip to PEI – Game Reports vs Mount Academy

Posted on April 23, 2022

Documentation of our games vs Mount Academy April 22-24, 2022. To see our roster, click here

Game 1 vs Mount Academy U17 (Final Score: 5-2 Mount U17)

Game Video – click here

Recap: The U17 Saints jumped out to a lead early on, but the lead was cut down by a pop-fly goal off the stick of Olivia Sparkes. Sparkes had a big day offensively, potting 3 goals in 2 games and solidified herself as one of the top ’06 winger prospects in NL. The Saints were hungry around both nets and aggressive on the walls in this contest, which are staples of head coach Rebecca Babiak’s philosophy. “A lot of our players are raw talents who don’t have a whole lot of playing experience at this level” said VHG coach Tyler Townsend. Townsend was particularly impressed with the play of ’06 defenceman Chelsea Keough, who has made significant strides in her overall game since the summer of 2021. “I thought all of our D played pretty well, but Chelsea was really competitive in all areas of the ice in this game”.

Game 2 vs Mount Academy U18 (Final Score: 10-2 Mount U18)

Game Video – click here

Recap: The U18 Saints have 14 2004’s in their lineup, and the size, strength and speed of the older players was apparent in this match-up. “We only have 1 2004 in our line-up; our team is predominantly 2006’s and 2007’s. This was a great game for us to play because it’s good learning. Things that we can get away with doing back in NL don’t work here, so it’s a big learning curve” said VHG coach Andrew Pearcey.

“You can make 10 mistakes in NL and maybe give up a goal. Make 10 mistakes vs the Mount Academy U18 team and 9 of them are in the back of your net” said Rebecca Babiak post-game which is very, very true. The Mount U18 team took pucks to dangerous spaces in the offensive zone, and capitalized on the VHG crews defensive zone coverage and gap control in this match. Lily Griffiths was stellar in net for the grey and purple brigade, stopping 37 of 47 shots – most from close range. Sparkes and Claire Brake – with a wicked wrister that went bar down on the Mount Academy goaltender – were the goal scorers in this one. Brake is a likely 2022 commitment to the Saints, a rangy right-handed defender who does a lot of things that have caught the eye of Mount program head Kenny Macdougall.

Game 3 vs Mount Academy U18 (Final Score: 4-1 Mount U18)

Game Video – click here

Recap: What a difference a day can make! The VHG crew played much better team defence in this match, limiting the Saints Grade A scoring chances and getting in shooting lanes. VHG won the third period from a goal off the stick of ’07 Suri Roberts. Roberts had multiple glorious scoring opportunities in this game; “Suri has some wheels in the open ice and is still learning how to play at this level. When Suri gets in the open ice like she did on her first period breakaway, she is a challenge to catch” said coach Tyler Townsend.

Lily Griffiths was fantastic again in this game, stopping 42 pucks and keeping this game tight until the final buzzer. Griffiths’ play could draw the interest of prep programs, as she is only going to Grade 10 in September. Saints forward and Saint Thomas (USPORT) commit Tahlia Mallaley was dangerous all afternoon and – if left alone in a dangerous area – will make you pay.

Game 4 vs Mount Academy U17 (Final Score: 8-1 Mount U17)

Game Video – click here

Recap: This was not the Bay Dawgs best game of the tournament by any means, but they still salvaged a third period win for the second straight game. Grace Goodyear converted a goalmouth scramble that – as coach Ty Townsend likes to put it – is where you have to go to score goals at this level. Griffiths was solid between the pipes once again, especially after the timeout call by Coach Pearcey. It was hard to ignore the shot-blocking prowess of Bethany Pitcher in this game, as the New Harbour, NL native soaked up numerous blasts from the point off Saints sticks. “I think our players are beginning to understand that after we make a play, we can’t admire it. We have somewhere else that we have to go. Then the person receiving the pass has to think about what they are going to do with the puck before they receive it, then execute” said coach Townsend post-game. On the Mount side, a couple of players scored their first goals of the season in this game and congratulations to them on doing so!

Game 5 vs Mount Academy U17 (Final Score: 7-0 Mount U17)

Game Video – click here

Recap: The second period of this game was arguably the Bay ‘dawgs best of the weekend, rattling a couple off the post and testing Saints goaltender Yiyi Peng. Peng shut the door on a rebound opportunity off the stick of Maggie Strong that was highlight-of-the-night material on most sports casts! The Saints U17 team were ruthless on loose pucks all weekend long, and caused a lot of trouble in Lily Griffiths’ line of vision at the net front. ‘Dawgs forward Allie Hancock was a standout for the purple and grey tonight – the Corner Brook, NL native had several top notch scoring opportunities in the first two periods that just could not find the mark. Saints coach Rebecca Babiak was particularly impressed with the ‘dawgs resiliency – “we were watching for players who might mail it in when the score is lopsided, and we didn’t see a single player with a quit mentality”

Most of the ‘dawgs will wrap up their 2021-22 seasons May 6-8 at the Hockey NL High Performance Program in Paradise, while a handful will represent NL at the U15 AAA Female Atlantics this coming weekend in New Glasgow, NS. Good luck to all players at their respective events!