Eastern takes ti­tle in over­time

Beats Avalon in 3-2 in girls’ ball hockey thriller

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

It was one for the ages. Girls’ ball hockey teams from Eastern and Avalon squared off in a ti­tanic bat­tle for gold at the 2012 NL Sum­mer Games on Satur­day in Har­bour Grace, with Eastern pre­vail­ing in a thrilling 3-2 over­time vic­tory.

It was a clas­sic match-up be­tween the favoured, and quasi-home team Avalon squad, and the un­der­dog Eastern en­try.

Avalon got on the board first at 5:34 of the open­ing half when Terri-Lynn Hoskins took a pass from Me­gan Nor­more and buried the ball in the net be­hind Eastern goal­tender Maria Stone.

That was it for the scor­ing in the first half, as Avalon put the pres­sure on Eastern, but could not crack Stone in the goal.

The sec­ond half started much of the same

Avalon put some pres­sure on Eastern, but Stone again stood her ground to keep her team in the game.

With 7:33 re­main­ing in the game, Hoskins again beat Stone to put Avalon up 2-0. At that point, it seemed Avalon would hold on for the vic­tory.

But in sports, just as in life, any­thing can hap­pen, and it did.

Eastern got back in the game when Crys­tal Mouland of Bon­av­ista jammed a loose ball past Avalon keeper Claire Ne­whook at 7:03.

Four min­utes later, Ni­cole War­ren beat Ne­whook, ty­ing the game at 2-2.

In over­time, Avalon dom­i­nated much of the ac­tion, but Eastern were not to be de­nied.

An­gela Mackey took ad­van­tage of a de­fen­sive mis­cue, slid­ing a pass from Jenny Con­nolly past Ne­whook.

Eastern play­ers swarmed Mackey, while coach and Har­bour Grace na­tive Stacey Moriarty dashed for his goal­tender.

“She’s been with me for three years, and to fi­nally get her a cham­pi­onship,” he said with emo­tion show­ing in his voice.

In get­ting to the cham­pi­onship, Eastern had to over­come some dif­fi­cul­ties.

“I hadn’t met most of the play­ers un­til Wed­nes­day,” said Moriarty.

De­spite that, the team went un­de­feated through the tour­na­ment, putting up four wins, no losses and one tie, which came against Avalon in the round-robin.

It was a homecoming of sorts for Moriarty.

“To come home and take one away from the semi-home team was spe­cial,” he said.

Mackey said af­ter giv­ing up a two-goal ad­van­tage, the morale on the bench was at a low point.

“It kind of felt like ev­ery­one had given up, but then a cou­ple of play­ers brought the mo­ti­va­tion up and ev­ery­one started to pick up their game,” she said.

Avalon head coach Jeff Gar­land said his team was dis­ap­pointed to not get the gold.

“Be­fore we went out there I said, ‘If you wake up to­mor­row and in your mind you know that there was noth­ing you could’ve done dif­fer­ent then it doesn’t mat­ter what the out­come of the game was,’” he said. “I still thought we were the bet­ter team.”

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Photo by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass

Mem­bers of the sil­ver medal­list Avalon girls’ ball hockey team in­clude, in no par­tic­u­lar or­der: Ali­cia Gil­lam (Whit­bourne), Chelsee Bradbury (Bay Roberts), Claire Ne­whook (Dildo), Dana Thorne (New Har­bour), Jenna Pham (South River), Natalie Keep­ing (Bay Roberts), Noelle Rus­sell (Blake­town), Ter­ri­Lynn Hoskins (New Har­bour), Cassy Young (CBS), Court­ney Foote (CBS), Kathy Nor­more (CBS), Kayla Dupont (Paradise), Marissa Keat­ing (Long Har­bour), Me­gan Nor­more (CBS), Ni­cole Blanche (Dunville), and Vic­to­ria Healey (Holy­rood).

Photo by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass

Natalie Keep­ing (cen­tre) of Bay Roberts forces her way through traf­fic dur­ing Aug. 24 round-robin ac­tion in girls’ ball hockey at the 2012 NL Sum­mer Games. Keep­ing and her Avalon team­mates notched an easy 7-0 win over the host squad. Also pic­tured here are, from left, Kate Pike of Har­bour Grace, Ali­cia Gil­liam of Whit­bourne (back­ground) and Erin Jones of Har­bour Grace.

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