Wood and Renaud integral part of Belleville’s OWHA Championship

SISTERS IN ARMS- County natives (From left) Brylie Renaud and Taylor Wood capped off their 2017-18 season with an Atom A Ontario Women's Hockey Association championship. (Submitted Photo)



It’s mission accomplished for a pair of Prince Edward County atom-aged hockey players.

Taylor Wood, Brylie Renaud their Spry Site Supervision Atom A Belleville Bearcats capped off an outstanding season with an Ontario Women’s Hockey Association Championship in Toronto this past weekend.

The Bearcats managed to trump the Stratford Aces 2-0 in the 2018 Atom A All-Ontario final.

The provincial championship goes along with an International Silver Stick title, the Lower Lakeshore League crown and a handful of other tournament triumphs the Bearcats captured in 2017-18.

Belleville’s only blemish, if you could call it that, was a 1-1 tie against the Aces in the tourney opener.

After that, the Cats were spot-on through the preliminary and playoff rounds with the County contingent having a big impact in a 5-0 win over the Etobicoke Dolphins with Renaud posting one of Belleville’s four tournament shutouts and Wood setting up a goal.

The team has a distinct Prince Edward County flavour as they are coached by county natives John Hoskins, his daughter Eve and Joe Belanger.

In February, Hoskins told the Gazette both Wood and Renaud play vital roles on the team.

“They just work harder than everyone else away from the rink, they have programs they work on at home,” Hoskins said. “They want to do it and the parents are really supportive and that helps.”

A first year defender on the squad, Hoskins said Wood’s skills are apparent.

“But she stands in there really well and her work ethic is what sets her apart. She’s talented but she works incredibly hard at practice and in the games,” Hoskins said.

Renaud is one of the club’s two netminders and Hoskins had high praise for his puckstoppers who have combined to shutout the opposition an unbelievable 28 times this year.

“Probably one of the most important parts of this team is goaltending and we are blessed to have the best two goaltenders in the Lower Lakes League,” Hoskins said. “(Renaud) brings a quiet confidence to the dressing room and it doesn’t matter what’s happening in the game, there can be chaos but the players know she’s calm and that clams the players down.”

Another county connection to the Bearcats is Jenna Nieman whose father Shawn is a county native.

Overall, the Bearcats posted a scorching 55-7 record and only suffered two loses after Dec. 1, 2017.