Pla­cen­tia school re­peats as pro­vin­cial champs in girls ball hockey

The Compass - - Sports - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON editor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Primed to match the team’s re­sult from a year ago, the Laval Cava­liers girls ball hockey squad let noth­ing get in the way of cap­tur­ing a sec­ond-straight pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onship.

The team from Pla­cen­tia went un­de­feated at the six-team School Sports New­found­land and Labrador 3A Girls Ball Hockey Provin­cials. The Cava­liers per­se­vered in the cham­pi­onship game Satur­day, April 14, beat­ing the host school St. James Re­gional High from Port aux Basques 9-1.

Michael Gam­bin, who coaches the team along­side Jono Ed­wards, said the play­ers were mo­ti­vated to win provin­cials and did not slack off for a mo­ment dur­ing games.

“The girls played great the en­tire tour­na­ment, and right back to re­gion­als two weeks ago in Mo­bile,” Gam­bin told The Com­pass. “They have been work­ing The 2018 School Sports New­found­land and Labrador 3A pro­vin­cial cham­pi­ons in girls ball hockey from Laval High School in Pla­cen­tia. Front row (l-r): Tyra Lan­non, Lilly Belle O’Reilly, Hil­lary Neville, Grace Fol­lett, Emma Kelly and Abi­gail Gam­bin. Back row (l-r): Michael Gam­bin (coach), Ella Shea. Brooke Lan­non, Laura Gam­bin-Ryan, Robyn Neville, Lau­ren Kelly, Macken­zie Leonard-Power, Jono Ed­wards (coach). Miss­ing From photo due to in­jury: Kait­lyn Sweeney and Chloe Grif­fiths. re­ally hard over the past few months to pre­pare for a run at provin­cials and they re­ally did peak at the per­fect time. We fig­ured we had a good chance to re­peat as we have a strong group of Grade 12s and lots of ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers, but the team ex­ceeded all ex­pec­ta­tions.”

Laval opened the tour­na­ment Thurs­day, April 12, with a 7-1 win over White Hills Academy from St. An­thony. The next day, the Cava­liers shut out St. James 9-0, did the same to Mead­ows’ Tem­ple­ton Academy by a score of 10-0 and de­feated In­dian River High from Spring­dale 6-1. Laval beat Glover­town Academy 8-3 on the Satur­day prior to a 7-2 semi­fi­nal win over White Hills Academy.

Ella Shea earned an in­di­vid­ual sports­man­ship award for Laval.

Gam­bin cred­its the pres­ence of vet­eran play­ers for help­ing the team suc­ceed.

“I can­not say enough about the lead­er­ship on this team from our three Grade 12 stu­dents — Tyra Lan­non, Hil­lary Neville and Abi­gail Gam­bin,” he said. “Tyra and Hil­lary have been with this team the past four years and it was Abi­gail’s fifth year. It was a fit­ting way for them to end off their high school ca­reers. We are

It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence for all in­volved — this team has a lot of fun to­gether and they have been noth­ing but a joy to coach.

— Michael Gam­bin

for­tu­nate to have enough depth on the team to play the three of them to­gether on a line and they set the tone in ev­ery game.”

The fu­ture for Laval’s girls ball hockey team looks bright, as this year’s team had three Grade 7 stu­dents and five other ju­nior high play­ers. Gam­bin said the lead­er­ship shown by the trio of Grade 12 play­ers will go on long way in main­tain­ing the school’s pro­gram and de­vel­op­ing the younger play­ers.

“It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence for all in­volved — this team has a lot of fun to­gether and they have been noth­ing but a joy to coach,” he said. “It was just nice to see them suc­ceed given the hard work and prepa­ra­tion they have put in lead­ing to provin­cials.”

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