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Club Profile

Sweet revenge for Wildcats
Updated On: May 8, 2017
Kristy Pidgeon. File photo

By Phi Trinh

Staying true to their name, the Nepean Wildcats girls’ hockey club scored a wild success at the provincial championships, winning seven medals across various divisions at the Apr. 6-9 competition in the GTA.

Nepean won gold medals in the Bantam ‘A’, Peewee ‘BB’ and Midget ‘C’ divisions, earned silver medals in Peewee ‘B’ and Novice ‘B’, and won bronze in Atom ‘A’ as well as the most competitive category, Intermediate ‘AA’.

It was a memorable finish for several graduating Intermediate ‘AA’ graduates, notes coach Bruce MacDonald, who’d earlier led his Wildcats through a full Provincial Women’s Hockey League junior season.

“The girls deserve all the credit,” underlines MacDonald. “They showed great character in all seven games that they played.”

Nepean fell to the Oakville Hornets in the provincial semi-final, but came back to down the Durham West Lightning 5-2 in the bronze medal match.

“We had a tough game against Oakville, but to come back and to win a medal a few hours later was pretty special,” adds MacDonald.

It was also a sweet revenge for the Wildcats following their heartbreaking second-round PWHL playoff defeat to Durham West when they missed a chance to clinch their series in a Game 4 shootout and then fell 4-2 in the deciding Game 5 contest.

“Getting our revenge on Durham West and earning that bronze medal was the best way to end my minor hockey career and I couldn't have asked for a better group of girls to share that special moment with,” signals Nepean captain Kristy Pidgeon. “It was an amazing feeling to know that all of our hard work had finally paid off.”

Pidgeon is now looking forward to joining the Clarkson University women’s hockey team next year alongside fellow Wildcat PWHL alum Josiane Pozzebon and Ottawa Senators PWHL products Amanda Titus and Katelyn Fournier, who captured an NCAA title this season.

Committing to the best team in NCAA women’s hockey was Pidgeon’s reward for making constant trips into Nepean from Ingleside for the past 3 years.

“There really is no secret, it's just plain sacrifice,” indicates Pidgeon, who’s maintained a 98% average at school as well. “I've learned that in order to be successful, I need to be productive in the little spare time I get, which means doing all of my homework, with being on the road so much and missing many, many days of school.”

The Team Ontario gold medallist as this year’s National Women’s Under-18 Championships didn’t feel like she was making sacrifices, however, she notes.

“When I'm on the ice all of my worries disappear and nothing else matters,” Pidgeon explains. “I love my sport so much. I wouldn't change this lifestyle for the world.”

Kanata & Gloucester on podium

Some of the Wildcats’ top opposition en route to their provincial triumphs in Peewee ‘BB’ and Midget ‘C’ came from fellow local clubs. Nepean beat eventual bronze medallist Kanata in the Peewee semis, while the Midget Wildcats downed the Ottawa Ice, who would then drop the bronze medal match 1-0 to Gloucester-Cumberland, in their semis.

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