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Panther pride beams at first tournament

By Mike Pothier
A proud, jubilant but exhausted Panthers team had a remarkable week in high school girl’s hockey.

After beating the rebuilding Nicholson Catholic College Crusaders 11-0 in league play, the team headed to the regional finals warm up tournament in Napanee the next morning.

The day-long tournament is an important stop on the calendar as the teams use the tournament as a crucible for competition, preparing for their respective league championship runs.

Coach Laurie Spencer’s expectations were set.

“We are up against some very stiff competition which is part of the learning process and why we are here,” she said.

The Panthers, who are registered as AA school, geared up against other AA as well as AAA schools from Bay of Quinte and Kingston areas.

Recapping the Crusaders afternoon game, scoring was spread out through the team with Celina Fox, Sam Ward, Tynika Williams and Chloe Marshall each having a pair of goals. Captain Alex Staley had a goal and two assists for a three point game.

Things burst open when the line of Tynika Williams, Kendra Marion and Kim Pothier went on a tear all scoring within a minute. Brittney Payne assisted on two goals while Morgan Clark added her second assist. Abby Terpstra had two assists and was the play maker on the Fox and Marshall goals. Kendra and Kelli-Anne Maycock added assists on Tynika William’s second goal to complete the scoring. Taylor Snider recorded her first shut out of the season.

Starting at 9am the next day, Panther’s beat their league rivals East Northumberland Secondary School Blue Dragons (AAA) in opening Pool A action in a gun slinging shoot out 5-4.

Sam Ward had a natural hat trick scoring three unanswered goals spread out between the second and third periods to tie things up. Unfortunately, the Blue Dragons took advantage on the momentum recoil and re-established the lead a minute later.

However, this set-back didn’t stop the Panthers. Kendra Marion unleashed a wrist shot from the board’s hash marks with 15.9 seconds left in the game to force the shoot out decision maker which was only sorted out by the 6th gunslinger, Chloe Marshall. Goalie Tyler Snider was a rock during the early morning madness shutting down 5 of the 6 Blue Dragons.

Two hours later, Napanee Secondary School Golden Hawks – a power house in the KASSAA league having made several trips to the AAA All Ontario finals – handed the Panthers their first lost this season by a score of 2-0.

The contrasting styles of play provided the back drop of excitement as the Panther’s calming defensive play was pitted against a high octane fueled offensive of the Golden Hawks. Things only settled down after the Panthers finally gave up the second goal late in the dying minutes of the third period.

“The Little Engine That Could” ran out of steam in the third period as the Sydenham Golden Eagles beat the Panthers 3-1 with a couple of quick goals which the team couldn’t rally back from as their dizzying 4 games in 24 hours ride finally came to a well deserved rolling stop.

The rally goal came from Panther Celina Fox with helpers coming from Sarah Young and Abby Terpstra.

Panthers are still on the road in league play and their next game is in Belleville on Tuesday, Dec 15th, at the Wellness Center. Puck drops at 3pm against Moira Secondary School Trojans.

Photos by Rebecca Juby

chloe-marshall-ncc-2Chloe Marshall catching the Crusaders on a bad line change going five hole on their goalie.

kendra-marion-nccKendra Marion letting it rip from the dot in the Crusader game.

kim-pothier-nccKim Pothier working the puck with a Crusader in hot pursuit.

celebrating-shoot-out-napaneeSam Ward, Celina Fox and Chloe Marshall celebrating shoot out victory over Blue Dragons with goalie Taylor Snider.

alex-staleyAlex Staley easily clearing a puck from behind the net during a Blue Dragon dump and chase.

Filed Under: Hastings & Prince Edward District School BoardNews from Everywhere ElsePECI - It's a Panther ThingSports & Recreation

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