Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
June 20, 2024
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Slush Sisters take Kingston Tourney in Style

The U13 Girls Select team from Prince Edward County triumphed at the 2024 RELM Spring Cup in Kingston last month, taking the championship in dramatic fashion.

The Slush Sisters include local skaters from the Prince Edward County Minor Hockey Association and a pair of County-born players from the Belleville Bearcats. The team gathered at Lehigh Arena this spring for practices, including a session with Toronto Professional Women’s Hockey League player and county native Jess Jones, who brought along PWHL swag for the local players and key pointers for improving their game.

Coach Chad Camp said there were no expectations going into the May 10-12 tournament.

“As the tournament progressed we gained more and more confidence and that confidence went right to our legs,” he said. “I and co-coach Barkley Vanhecke are so proud of these girls and what they accomplished. It was an incredible group to coach and we were thankful to play a role in this tournament win.”

Face Off

The County eased into the tournament with a 1-1 draw. Hartley Wallach had the ice-breaker for the Slush Sisters late in the second but a breakaway by a member of the Kemptville Thunder 1 club tied the contest.

Facing a second Kemptville entry in their next contest, the locals again had trouble gelling early and the Thunder 2 squad potted the first goal.

After that opening salvo, the Slush Sisters went to work.

Madelyn Minns scored on the power play late in the first to tie the game at 1-1.

“We carried the play most of the second and you could see the confidence grow with each shift,” the coach added. Ms. Kempers scored late in the second and PEC never looked back as Nora Vader and Ms. Wallach added singles to make it a 4-1 final.

On Saturday, the County doubled up on Kingston 4-2. Surrendering the opening goal for a second straight game, the Slush Sisters showed pluck as Ms. Minns lit the lamp twice while Joni Vader and Hailey Cutler added singles.

A Pathway to the Finals

With a trip directly to the tournament finals hanging in the balance, PEC drew Kemptville 1 for their final round robin game and the Slush Sisters were not to be denied. Ms. Kempers fired a hat trick to stake the locals to a 3-0 lead and Picton goaltender Taylor Holbrough took a shutout bid into the final minute of the contest.

On Sunday, the County took on Kemptville 2 in the finals and once again surrendered the opening goal to fall behind 1-0. Late in the second, Ms. Minns won an offensive zone faceoff to Lyla Lavender who ripped a perfectly placed one timer to tie the game at 1-1 and give the Slush Sister bench a jolt.

Early in the third and buzzing from the game tying goal, the locals pushed ahead. Addison Kerr’s blast from the blue line found a home in the back of the Kemptville net and PEC gained their first lead of the final. Ms. Holbrough and the defence were perfect the rest of the way and the Slush Sisters earned gold medals for their efforts.

The coach called the win a complete team effort and admitted, for a select spring tournament, there was plenty of passion and emotion after the medals were handed out.

“It was a very overwhelming experience to coach these girls, they all have a bright future and we hope they stick with hockey and follow their dreams,” he said.

The Slush Sisters wish to thank team sponsors, including Ray’s Power Equipment who paid the tournament fee and Lonestar Custom Shop who did all the graphics and name bars on the jerseys as well as Shelby Jones and Ryan Milanovich for on-ice instruction.

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 23 edition of The Picton Gazette
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