Holland Hurricanes are East Coast women's hockey champs, host Axewomen finish third

John Decoste jdecoste@kingscountynews.ca
Published on March 20, 2016

Acadia goalie Maria Gaudet stops UNB's Nathalie Laplante on a breakaway during round robin action at the East Coast Women's Hockey League championship tournament March 18-20 in Wolfville. Acadia claimed the bronze medal with a 3-1 win over Cape Breton March 20. Holland College edged UNB 3-2 in the championship game that followed. The host Axewomen lost 1-0 to Holland College, tied UNB 1-1 and blanked Cape Breton 4-0 in their round robin games. Gaudet, who is from Clare, had an outstanding tournament, playing all her team's games and recording a 0.89 goals against average with one shutout. She was named a second-team all-star. Alex Johnson of Port Willaims joined Gaudet on the second team, while Maddie MacKenzie and Chelsey Wilkins were first team all-stars.

©John DeCoste

WOLFVILLE - The Holland College Hurricanes are the winners of the East Coast Women's Hockey League championship tournament played March 18-20 at the Andrew H. McCain Arena in Wolfville.

The P.E.I. school edged the University of New Brunswick 3-2 in the championship game, a 2 p.m. start March 20.

Earlier in the day, the host Acadia women claimed the bronze medal with a 3-1 victory over Cape Breton University.

In their opener March 18, Acadia took on Holland College and ended up on the short end of a 1-0 score.

In their second game March 19 against UNB, Acadia opened the scoring early in the first period, and maintained that 1-0 lead for most of the game until UNB tied the score late in the third period. The game ended in a 1-1 tie.

Axewomen goalie Maria Gaudet from Clare played an outstanding game against UNB - and in fact, had an outstanding tournament, playing all of her team's games and recording an overall goals-against average of 0.89. 

In their third and final round robin game later that evening, Acadia blanked Cape Breton 4-0 to at least temprarily stay alive in their quest to reach the final. Gaudet again was the difference, recording the shutout.

However, when UNB edged Holland College 3-2 in the final round robin game, it eliminated Acadia from further contention for the championship.

Of the eight goals scored by the Axewomen in the tournament, five of them came off the stick of Central Kings graduate Hillary Dort.

Acadia ended up with four of 12 all-star selections. Maddie MacKenzie and Chelsey Wilson made the first team, and Alex Johnson and Gaudet the second team.

"it's disappointing for the girls, but that's hockey," Acadia head coach Dave Ettinger said March 20. "They played good hockey this weekend, we just needed a bounce here and there."

Ettinger added, "I am very happy and proud of my team." This year's Acadia team was made up of "a great bunch of players with good dedication, heart and desire. I was fortunate to be able to coach them."

In addition to Dort, who is from Waterville, other Kings County women on the Acadia team this year included Alex Johnson, a Horton graduate from Port Williams, and Courtney Foster, a CK grad from Berwick.

Other Valley women on the team included Natasha Wotton from Middleton, Kailin Mann from Bridgetown and Lillie Ryan from Windsor.

West Kings graduate Corey O'Brien and Horton grad Gisele Rudderham both suited up for UNB in the tournament.

MacKenzie, Wotton, Foster and Kendyl Wilson all also play varsity women's rugby at Acadia.