Vinkle, Scheerhoorn bring home the gold in hockey, volleyball
Belleville’s Cassidy Vinkle is bringing home a national championship ring.
Just two years into her varsity women’s hockey schoalrship at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY, the Belleville Bearcats girls minor hockey system graduate shared in an NCAA title with the Lady Golden Knights after a 3-0 upset of the top-ranked Wisconsin Badgers in the Frozen Four final held recently in St. Charles, Missouri.
Playing before a throng of more than 3,000 at Family Arena, Clarkson celebrated its second national championship in four years.
The victorious Golden Knights handed Wisconsin its first loss in 23 games and gives Clarkson a school-record final overall slate of 34-4-5 in 43 games for the 201617 campaign — including a 19-1-2 first-place in-conference mark in the ECAC.
Vinkle, a sophomore forward, finished top-10 (8) in scoring among Clarkson players this season with 22 points in 41 games, including a dozen goals. Her offensive totals included four game-winning goals, tied for second on the team, and a plus-18 rating.
A graduate of St. Theresa, Vinkle quadrupled her three-goal total from her freshman campaign last season. She tacked on seven helpers for 10 points in 40 games.
This season, Clarkson went 30-1-4 after mid-October and earned its third straight ECAC conference regular-season crown. Golden Knights defeated the Cornell Big Red, featuring Ivy League Player of the Year and Belleville native Hanna Bunton in the lineup, to claim the ECAC playoff title and advancement to the national tournament in St. Charles.
At the women’s Frozen Four, Clarkson opened with a 4-3 defeat of two-time NCAA champion Minnesota in the semi-finals.
• CIS volleyball
Quinte Christian High School grad Blake Scheerhoorn was voted to the tournament All-Star Team after playing a key role in a second straight CIS men’s volleyball title for the Trinity Western (Langley, B.C.) Spartans at the 2017 national championships held recently in Edmonton.
Scheerhoorn was top scorer in the gold medal match with 22 points as Trinity Western defeated the host Golden Bears 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 27-29, 25-23).
Scheerhoorn was named Player of the Match.
The Spartans defended their No. 1 seeding at the national tournament, defeating No. 8 Waterloo 3-0 in the CIS quarterfinals, then eliminating No. 5 McMaster 3-1 in the semi-final round.
Scheerhoorn was 10th in the nation this season with a .318 hitting percentage for the Spartans.
• CIS rugby
Belleville’s Sara Svoboda kicked a rare drop-goal penalty for the Hamilton-based McMaster Marauders during round-robin competition as the lone Ontario team in the Final Four of the 2017 CIS women’s Rugby Sevens championship finished fourth at the national tournament held recently in Victoria, B.C.
McMaster, which finished 3-2 overall, recovered from an opening loss to Alberta to win three straight games — including two over the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns — to face the Pandas in a bronze medal rematch.
While her McMaster teammates return to Ontario, Svoboda stays on Vancouver Island to attend the Rugby Canada senior women’s national team tryout camp this week at Shawnigan Lake. She will be joined by fellow Belleville native and former Marauders teammate, Cindy Nelles.
Survivors will travel to San Diego to represent Canada in a two-match Can Am Series against the USA.
• CIS hockey
Playing in their first national championship tournament in 36 years, the Queen’s Golden Gaels — with Belleville native Kevin Bailie in goal — lost 5-1 to eventual gold medalist UNB in the quarterfinals of the CIS men’s hockey finals held recently in Fredericton.
Bailie faced 36 shots in the contest, making 31 saves.
Queen’s hadn’t appeared in a CIS men’s hockey title tourney since 1981 and Gaels head coach Brett Gibson had high praise for Bailie and his teammates.
“We’re a hockey program now,” said Gibson, in an interview on the CIS website. “We’ve always been a great school academically. Now, we’re the best of both worlds.”
Bailie was outstanding in the OUA playoffs, leading the province with a .960 save percentage and tying for second with a 1.39 GAA. His 338-save total was No. 1.
In the regular campaign, Bailie finished top-10 (7) in the OUA this season with a .925 save percentage in 14 appearances for Queen’s; his 2.31 GAA was also seventh.
QCHS graduate Blake Scheerhoorn was Player of the Game in the CIS men's volleyball championship match, held recently in Edmonton.
Belleville's Cassidy Vinkle of the Clarkson Lady Golden Knights hoists the NCAA championship trophy at the recent women's hockey Frozen Four in St. Charles, Missouri.