Lapointe scores series winning goal as Als secure hockey crown
by Randy Pascal
For the Collège Notre-Dame Alouettes' girls hockey team, at this time of year, it's all hands on deck.
Whereas in some years, the traditional SDSSAA powerhouse may have relied almost exclusively on rep hockey talent attending the school, the 2017-2018
version of the team showcases a wide and varied depth of on-ice skills, with one and all sharing the burden of success.
Leading their best of three city final series with the Lo-Ellen Park Knights one game to none, but deadlocked in a scoreless draw into the third period of game
two, the Alouettes would break the ice courtesy of a lovely marker from Emma Lapointe, with Allyxa Breton and Vanessa McKinnon adding
insurance tallies in support of the shutout netminding of Mireille Kingsley.
In every sense of the word, this was a 3-0 team victory.
"Our winning goal was scored by a houseleague player who works hard," noted CND head coach Denis Piquette. "It's a chance to prove themselves that
they can play at this level, play with Lady Wolves, "A" or "AA" players, and contribute."
"I've always played houseleague, because I like to play a lot of other school sports," said Lapointe. Not that this was going to stop the 15 year old
grade ten student from demonstrating a scorer's touch in putting the city champs on the board.
"I got a pretty good pass and shot from a decent angle," she said. "I know this goalie's pretty good with her glove hand, so I wanted to try and get it
on her blocker side, close to the post. I was pretty lucky to get it there."
After finishing first in regular season play with a record of 9-1-2, two points ahead of Lo-Ellen, the Notre-Dame crew were more than aware this series
would likely go right down to the wire.
"We came in with confidence, but not too cocky, because we knew they were good and had a pretty good goalie too," said Lapointe. "In the past, we've
seen St Charles, CND, sometimes Lockerby," stated Piquette. "To see Lo-Ellen in the mix was a really good experience."
"I knew they had a good club, they've got some skaters, and I knew we had to bring our best to beat this team." Backstopped by Kingsley, a top end local
product who will surely be suiting up in the post-secondary ranks two years from now, the Als were able to hold the Knights at bay, early on.
Kingsley came through with some key saves against Katie Chomiak, Taylor Buchowski and Brandie Roy, most notably during a first period
penalty kill. Both Lo-Ellen and Notre-Dame will advance to the NOSSA "A"/"AA" Girls Hockey Championships on March 5th and 6th at the McClelland Arena
in Copper Cliff, to be joined by both the Lockerby Vikings and the St Joseph Scollard Hall Bears from North Bay.