Abby W. opened the scoring for Shawnigan just 11 seconds into the girls’ championship game, and the teams battled back and forth throughout the contest. The score was knotted 2-2 after two periods, with Abby W. scoring again for Shawnigan. Rink Kelowna went ahead in the first minute of the third period, but Mya L. replied for Shawnigan with a powerplay goal at 5:25 of the third, and the teams needed extra time to determine a winner.
“In the seven years I’ve been at Shawnigan, it was probably the best game that I’ve been part of, either coaching or watching,” head coach Ms. Carly Haggard said. “The intensity, the physicality — both teams played with their hearts on their sleeves.”
The 3-on-3 overtime session could have gone either way, with scoring chances at both ends and shots tied at four apiece. Shawnigan senior defender Sophia A. was stopped on a breakaway chance. Rink Kelowna finally broke the deadlock with just over a minute left in the 10-minute overtime period.
The players were understandably unhappy with the result, but they were still able to grasp the magnitude of their accomplishment.
“Anytime you lose a game like that, it’s disappointing,” Ms. Haggard said. “In the locker room after the game, they were sad, but it was more because it was over, and not because we lost. You could see how happy and proud everyone felt about what we had accomplished this year.”
Abby W. finished the game with two goals, while Morgan J. had two assists, and Lauren M. made 31 saves.
Just to reach the final, Shawnigan had to battle through arguably the strongest pool at the tournament, then win a semifinal. They opened with a 4-2 win over the Northern Alberta Xtreme, with two goals and two assists from Abby W. and a goal and two assists from Morgan J. That was followed by a 4-3 victory over Delta Hockey Academy’s U18 team behind a goal and two assists from Arnica B. and a goal and an assist from Mikayla B. Shawnigan completed the sweep of their pool with a 5-1 win over Delta’s U17 squad, led by Abby W. with a goal and an assist, and Morgan J. with another two assists.
That put Shawnigan into the semifinal against South Alberta Hockey Academy. Shawnigan hadn’t played SAHA all year, but the Medicine Hat-based team was on a tear in the weeks leading up to the tournament.
“The girls remembered our semifinal loss last year, and they really wanted to make sure it didn’t happen again.”
Shawnigan led 2-0 after the first period on a shorthanded goal by Zoe B. and a powerplay goal by Mikayla B., then went up 3-0 in the second on a goal by Arnica B. SAHA got one back in the third, but Abby W. iced the win with an empty-netter to send her team to the final.
Abby W. ended up leading the entire tournament in scoring with 12 points on seven goals and five assists, while Morgan J. was second with 11 points on three goals and eight assists. Arnica B. was fourth overall and second among defenders with eight points on four goals and four assists.
The U18 Prep boys had a strong showing in Penticton, including a pair of overtime wins over their Island rivals from Pacific Coast Hockey Academy. Shawnigan opened with an 8-3 loss to Yale, with George S. posting a goal and an assist and Wyatt T. adding two assists. They followed that up with a 5-4 overtime win over PCHA, again led by George S. with two goals and one assist, while Jonatan R. had two goals including the game-winner. They faced PCHA once more, prevailing 6-5 as George S. had a goal and two assists and Cole P. scored once and set up Marcello G.’s game-winner. With eight points (four goals and four assists) in three games, George S. finished seventh overall in points and fourth in points per game.
The U17 Prep boys were on a roll going into the CSSHL championships, having won 11 of 15 league games since Christmas. They opened the tournament in Penticton with a 10-4 loss to Yale, with Chase K. collecting three assists and goalie Charlie K. making 43 saves. That was followed by a 3-1 loss to Edge School, with Liam D. scoring Shawnigan’s lone goal. Finally, Shawnigan closed out the tournament with their closest result, a 5-4 loss to Prairie Hockey Academy, with two goals and one assist from Eliot C. and one goal and two assists from Brendyn V.
The U15 Prep boys improved their results over the course of the tournament, capping off a season during which they made big strides as individuals and as a team, with a focus on being a good teammate, being humble as an athlete, showing leadership on and off campus, and setting long- and short-term goals. The team opened the championships with a 9-2 loss to Edge School, with goals by Eric W. and Colten R., and 60 saves from Liam R. Colten R. and Nigel A. scored in the next game, an 8-2 loss to Okanagan Hockey Academy. The tournament ended for Shawnigan with a 5-2 loss to Rink Hockey Academy Winnipeg, with goals coming from Nigel A. and Nolan B.