Antique bronze for KDSS girls

Knights knocked off in OFSAA semi-final

By Josh Howald

An impressive run by the Kincardine District Secondary School girls hockey team came to a screeching halt in the OFSAA provincial semi-finals Friday morning.

Alyssa Andrews wins a loose puck during Kincardine's game agasint L'Escale Thursday morning in Stratford at the OFSAA provincial hockey championship tournament. (Josh Howald photo)


The Knights have plenty to be proud of - an undefeated regular season, a Bluewater Athletic Association championship and a CWOSSA title. But that is little consolation to the team, which admittedly did not play its best hockey in a 7-5 loss to All Saints Catholic Secondary School of Whitby in an 8 a.m. game Friday morning in Stratford.

"We were awful flat," said KDSS coach Dan Ogilvie. " I was pretty happy with the tournament,  but I thought we let that semi-final get away from us, that's the only real disappointment I have from the tournament."

After cruising through the BAA regular season and playoffs undefeated, KDSS captured the CWOSSA championship in overtime in Owen Sound to qualify for the OFSAA provincial championship tournament in Stratford last week. Madison Beishuizen had the overtime-winner at CWOSSA, and picked up right where she left off. The Grade 10 student was a force for Kincardine, debatably the best player at this tournament.

Beishuizen had both goals in Kincardine's first OFSAA game since 2012 on Wednesday morning, a 2-1 win over ESC Theriault. She then buried a pair of goals in a 3-1 victory later that day over St. Theresa. Those two wins on Wednesday assured KDSS of a spot in the quarter-finals. A final preliminary round game against L'Escale, from Rockland, ended up being Kincardine's first loss of the year. KDSS and L'Escale traded chances in an entertaining affair, but KDSS couldn't pull the trigger on a number of good scoring chances and fell 3-1.

The loss left the Knights in second place in Pool D and set them up with a quarter-final game against an undefeated Anderson CVI team from Whitby. In this game, however, the Knights found their scoring touch and skated to a 4-1 win, which earned them a trip to the semi-finals.

Both provincial semi-final games were played at 8 a.m. in Stratford Friday morning. KDSS drew the All Saints, fell behind and never fully recovered.

"We were down 4-0 with about five minutes to go in the first period," said Beishuizen. "We made it 4-1 before the first period ended and settled down a bit. We pulled (goaltender) Sophia (Tomaini) with a minute left to try to make it close, but they scored into the empty net. I scored with six seconds left to make it 7-5."

The other semi-final featured the heavily favoured Stratford school, St. Michaels, and L'Escale. L'Escale pulled off an almost unthinkable upset in that game and knocked off the #1-seed 3-2. That left KDSS with a daunting task in order to bring home a medal.

"They were a really good team," said Beishuizen. "It was probably the hardest game we played all year, but we stuck with them."

KDSS put up a battle, but ended up losing that game 4-1.

"I thought we played well in the bronze medal game," said Ogilvie. "Overall, we had a great team and a great bunch of players to coach."

L'Escale ended up defeating All Saints CSS to win the provincial championship, which left KDSS with mixed feelings.

"We definitely thought we could have beat (L'Escale) and we could have beat (All Saints CSS) in the semi-finals," said Beishuizen.

Beishuizen, who will play for the Kitchener Junior Rangers next season, did have some good news on Monday for local hockey fans. She plans on remaining a student at KDSS.

"I'm very happy with how we did at OFSAA, and I thought we bonded as a team - I think most of us hope to be back next year to make another run at it."

This year's team included goaltenders Tomaini and Rose Pande, Georgia Fields, Emma Twolan, Abbey McCormick, Hailey Woods, Payton McCormick, Laura Fohkens, Callie Martyn, Rainor Kuz, Alyssa Andrews, Emma Swift, Mattie Shipp, Georgia Tanner, Kara Colhoun, Beishuizen, Jennelle Smeltzer, Alice Thorpe and Madison McBride.

This is the second time KDSS has played for an OFSAA girls hockey medal and the second time the Knights have had to settle for an antique bronze. In 2011 the Knights were defeated by a Margot Page - coached team from Appleby College. Kincardine also advanced to the 2012 OFSAA tournament, but were knocked out in the early rounds. KDSS has only one OFSAA-team championship, an OFSAA boys hockey championship from Peterborough in 2012.