Ont. squad into semis


A second-period high-five left Team Ontario in a mood to celebrate.
Five goals in a span of 6:22 turned a close game into a blowout yesterday as Ontario, featuring Izzy Smith of Couchiching on defence, dumped Team North 8-2 in the quarter-finals of the male division at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Cowichan, B.C.
Smith didn’t get a point and has yet to make a notch on the scoresheet in four games so far at the tournament.
But that mattered little as Ontario advanced to a semi-final showdown this afternoon against B.C.
The winner will earn a berth in tomorrow’s final against either Manitoba or Saskatchewan, who will meet in the other semi-final tonight.
But the news wasn’t so good for two Fort Frances residents playing in the girls’ category.
Annalise (CC) Hayes (Couchiching) and Makenna Henttonen (Onegaming) were part of the Ontario squad that lost a heart-breaking 3-2 decision to Saskatchewan in yesterday’s quarter-finals.
Hayes was whistled for two penalties in the game–the second with 2:23 left in the third period for tripping after she dove from behind to knock the puck off her opponent’s stick.
That came just over two minutes after Saskatchewan had tied the game on a long shot that came off a rush which started in the Saskatchewan zone after Hayes was first taken off her feet in the corner and then pushed down from behind seconds later.
No penalty was called in either case.
Ontario killed off the late penalty but were eliminated from further contention when Alyssa Roach fired a quick shot from the slot past Ontario goalie Cailen Hanzlik for the game-winner.
Ontario will play one last game this afternoon against Team Atlantic to help determine seedings for next year’s tournament.
Both Hayes and Henttonen have two points so far.