By Chad Ouellette
The 2018-19 ringette season marked a year of great achievements for Ottawa’s local clubs, with each celebrating provincial podium spots and having teams to cheer on at the Canadian Ringette Championships or the upcoming Eastern Canadian Championships for ringette.
GCRA squads on golden cusp
The Gloucester Cumberland Ringette Association’s (CGRA) Under-16 AA and U14 AA team won silver medals at the 2019 Provincial Championships for ringette. The club’s U16 team finished in 9th place at the national championships, while its U14 AA girls will represent Ontario at the upcoming Eastern Canada championships that are being held from April 18 to April 21.
Marissa Alther is a team captain on the U14 AA team. Her team fell to their crosstown rivals, West Ottawa, in overtime at the provincial championships played in North Bay in March. Alther said that the team is still satisfied with their season, even though they didn’t get the result that they wanted at provincials.
“I was happy that we won, but we were a bit disappointed that we didn’t get gold. We are proud of each other and the accomplishments we made this year,” Alther said.
West Ottawa winners
Like GCRA’s U14 AA provincial silver medallists, West Ottawa’s U14 AA gold medal winners will compete at the Eastern Canadian Championships.
West Ottawa’s U16 AA team equalled the best finish (4th) of any Ottawa team at the national championships after punching their ticket there by claiming the third-and-final Team Ontario slot by beating Guelph Ringette by a slim margin of 4 to 3 in the bronze medal game of the provincial championships.
Colleen Hagan, the head coach of West Ottawa’s U16 AA team, praised her team as a whole.
“I think our girls have really shone in the moments,” she explained. “They’re great where they are. They came in ambitious and (have) shown people what they can do, and they’ve been doing that.”
West Ottawa’s U16 AA girls’ 4th place finish at the Canadian Ringette Championships was only matched among Ottawa teams by Nepean Ringette’s U19 team, who also finished in 4th place at nationals.
At nationals, the Nepean Ravens’ U19 team that finished with a bronze medal provincially, would go on to best the City of Ottawa team who finished ahead of them at the Ontario championships.
Another team by the name of Ravens – the Carleton University Ravens ringette team – also won a provincial medal, finishing in 3rd place at the provincials for university ringette.
The City of Ottawa Ringette Association’s (CORA) U19 team fell 5-0 to Guelph in the gold medal game of the provincial championships before moving on to nationals, where they finished in 14th place.
Allison Wilcox, the team’s assistant coach, said they struggled to find wins in both league games and tournaments early in the season before coming together to turn things around.
“This team had a really tough start to our season,” Wilcox said. “We had players from different associations come together, a lot of players that never played together.”
One of the U19 team’s captains and a top-goal scores, Elizabeth Plamondon, agreed with her coach’s assessment.
“I think we bonded really well as a team,” Plamondon explained. “We didn’t know each other very well at the beginning of the year. Once we got to know each other we had a lot of fun together all the time, and I think that plays a really big part on how we played on the ice.”