The Hamilton Spectator
A Titans-ic win for Bishop Tonnos girls volleyball
Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School won its first Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations AAA girls volleyball title in its debut appearance at the provincial high school championships.
Tonnos, coached by former McMaster star Alvisia Maga, was ranked No. 8 coming in, but won all seven of its games at the 20-team provincial tourney in Barrie two weeks ago.
The Titans rallied to beat No. 1 seed Dunbarton of Pickering in a final which went the maximum five sets, after a three-set sweep of No. 2 Franco-Cité of Ottawa in the semifinals.
The Titans, who went 33-2 this season, include team captain Ava Connelly, Avaya Maga, Abby Smith, Emma Sukan, Maryn Petrie, Katie Malarczuk, Estelle Buist, Alyssa Cerovac, Kennedy Llewellyn, Olivia Solly, Eva Aleksa and Coralee Muco.
Rock can’t climb
Hamilton’s National Lacrosse League franchise couldn’t take advantage of upset losses by firstplace Buffalo (now 10-3) and thirdplace Rochester (9-4) when the Rock were beaten, 14-12, in Halifax on Saturday night.
Dan Craig had four goals and a pair of assists for the Rock (10-4), while Tom Schreiber had two goals and three assists, and Corey Small had two goals and two helpers.
The Rock are on the road again Saturday night in Albany before returning home on Saturday, April 1, for critical game against Buffalo.
That’s Minor Lacrosse night, and the first 5,000 fans will also receive a Billy Hostrawser bobblehead.
Heaney and the Six into Isobel Cup final
In her first year behind the team’s bench, Hockey Hall of Famer Geraldine Heaney, of Ancaster, has coached the Toronto Six into their first berth in the Premier Hockey Federation championship game.
The Six took the last two games of the women’s pro hockey league semifinal after losing the opener, 5-3, to Connecticut. They edged the Whale in overtime on Saturday and won Monday’s deciding game, 3-0, behind 31 saves from Waterford’s Elaine Chuli, who played her minor hockey for Stoney Creek Sabres.
The Six roster also includes Burlington’s Emma Greco and Barracuda grad Taylor Davison.
The Six will play the surprising Minnesota Whitecaps for the Isobel Cup on Sunday night in Tempe, Ariz.
The As and Bs
Nathan Phillips, Aaron Chiarot and Matthew Duarte scored for the Kilty’s B’s in their 3-1 win over the Fort Erie Meteors on Monday night, as Hamilton took a 2-1 lead in the bestof-seven Golden Horseshoe Conference semifinal. Game 4 is in Fort
Erie on Wednesday with the fifth game at Dave Andreychuk Arena on Thursday at 7 p.m.
In the other GOJHL semifinal, St. Catharines edged Caledonia, 3-2, to take a 2-1 lead. Game 4 goes Wednesday in Caledonia.
Meanwhile, the Burlington Cougars open their OJHL North-West Conference semifinal against Georgetown on Friday night (7:30 p.m.) at Central Arena with Game 2 the following night in Georgetown.
And the Cs
The Glanbrook Rangers enjoyed a well-earned bye while the other six teams in their South Bloomfield Division of the PJHL engaged in bestof-seven sets to advance to the division semifinals.
With Niagara edging Dundas Blues, 5-3, in their Game 7 on Monday night, the RiverHawks will now face the Rangers, beginning Wednesday night (7:30 p.m.) at Glanbrook Arena.
The Rangers, who finished first in the Bloomfield, had only three regulation-time losses, the fewest in the 60-team PJHL.
discarded by the Washington Capitals. The Leafs had shown interest when the goalie was still under contract in Washington, hoping to trade for his rights, but the Capitals let him walk as an unrestricted free agent when they became fixated on signing Stanley Cup champion Darcy Kuemper.
Samsonov signed a one-year, show-me contract worth $1.8 million (U.S.) in hopes that it would lead to a bigger payday. He’ll be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer and, so far, the season has worked out just about as well as he and Leafs fans might have hoped. He’s 24-8-3 with a .917 save percentage overall, but his road record has been a bit of a head-scratcher (6-6-1, .900).
His .887 save mark on high-danger shots in all situations (per naturalstattrick.com) is the league’s best among goalies who have played at least 10 games; Murray ranks 24th (.838) among 74 NHL netminders.
Of the two, Samsonov is more likely to steal a game. He’s allowed 81 goals in all, 13 fewer than his expected goals against, a metric that measures the quality of shots he’s faced. Murray has allowed 66 in total, equal to his expected number.
Keefe credits goalie coach Curtis Sanford.
“In the off-season, Curtis Sanford and (Samsonov) really set out a good plan and got to work, and they’ve been very consistent with it,” Keefe said. “Curtis’s demeanour is, he doesn’t get too excited when things are going great, doesn’t get too down or rattled when things aren’t. And I think he’s able to transfer that on to the goaltenders.
“That’s allowed Samsonov to settle in. He’s had some bumps along the way, and he rectifies (himself) really quickly, which is what you’re looking for. No goalie goes through an entire season without some bumps along the way. The difference between the top-end goaltenders — and really everybody else — is that they do it more consistently and they are able to bring it back. And that’s what we’ve seen from both our goalies, so that’s been really good. It’s a credit to them for putting in the work, and Curtis has done a really good job with them.”