Diana Cicchillo chose the right time to score her first goal of the tournament.
The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks forward scored 4:39 into the fourth overtime of the final of the Theresa Humes tournament to give the number-one ranked team their second straight Theresa Humes tournament win. If history is any indication, it may not be their only tournament win in 2006. The last two years, the winner of the Theresa Humes tournament has gone on to win the National Championship. In 2003-2004, the Alberta Pandas did the double while last year the Golden Hawks won both.
“I told my team last year that usually whoever wins Concordia wins the National Championship,” said Rick Osborne, coach of the Golden Hawks earlier in the tournament. This year, the Golden Hawks did it without 2004-2005 All-Canadian goaltender Cindy Eadie. The duo of Morgan Wielgosz and Kirsten Trost have been dubbed 1a and 1b by Osborne and split the tournament and allowed two goals in the three games.
“We’re a team that stresses team defence, and our goaltenders are both very capable and there is an opportunity for one of the goaltenders to get hot and take the number one job over the second half of the season.”
Osborne and the Golden Hawks also feel that being ranked number one in the Country puts added pressure on them.
“Last year we were able to fly a little under the radar screen being ranked number two, and nobody expected Alberta to lose. This year, particularly in November when we were getting ready for exams, every team plays us like it is a playoff game. I have to admit it was hard,” Osborne said. The Golden Hawks had a 37-game winning streak snapped earlier this season when they lost to York 2-1 and ran into a hot goaltender.
Besides Laurier winning their second straight Theresa Humes tournament, there were several storylines to follow. The main one being the Dawson College Blues winning the bronze medal after defeating two top-10 CIS teams, including defeating number three-ranked McGill 8-2 in the tournament opener.
“That was big. It was our first time playing a CIS opponent and for us coming out with that score, I never would have imagined. I thought we matched up well with McGill, and it was just a matter of playing well, because I thought we had a shot,” said Scott Lambton, coach of the Blues. The Blues stress team speed and have two players, Emmanuelle Blais and Stephanie Denino committed to NCAA schools for next season; Blais with the University of Minnesota and Denino with Princeton University. They also have in goaltender Audrey Doyon-Lesarde, one of the top-three goaltenders of her age in North America according to a scout from Dartmouth University. They also had outstanding play from Karell Emard who led all scorers in the tournament with two goals and five assists as well as Mallory Lawton, the daughter of Concordia’s head coach Les Lawton, who had two goals including the winning goal against McGill and the empty-net insurance goal against Queen’s.
“I’m impressed with the offensive output we showed in this tournament,” Lambton said about his team scoring 15 goals against the number one, three and nine ranked teams in the CIS. “I have pretty big expectations for the rest of our regular season because if we could do this against one, three and nine in Canada, we shouldn’t have too much of a problem against who we face in our league,” he continued.
“This tournament is mainly to get ready for the second part of the season, but I have to admit we never played well, particularly in the first game when there is a lot of rust,” said Martlets head coach Peter Smith, who was recently named as an assistant to the Canadian women’s hockey Olympic team by head coach Melody Davidson. “Dawson is a great team, they have some very good players but it is harder for a University team to get pumped to play a CEGEP team than it is for a CEGEP team to play a University team because they will be very pumped,” he said.