By KADEN CAMPBELL
The Malvern Collegiate Institute Black Knights girls varsity hockey team have gone back-to-back as city champions with a 5-3 win over Lawrence Park Collegiate in the title game on Thursday, March 2.
The championship game was held at the Scotiabank Pond arena in Downsview in front of a big and enthusiastic crowd consisting of family and friends from both teams.
Malvern came out of the gates early with Morgan Lille scoring twice to put the Black Knights up by two to end a strong first period.
In the second, after a quick goal by Lawrence Park, Celena Mickevicius stormed through the defenders to slide one in the five-hole with a strong individual effort to re-establish Malvern’s two-goal lead.
Lawerence Park closed the gap to one goal once again in the second, but Hannah Longley then found the back of the net on a feed from Mickevicius on the powerplay to put Malvern up 4-2.
The game was capped off with Lille completing the hat trick and the Black Knights killing a penalty in the final minutes of the third to win the championship.
The Black Knights success in the finals and throughout the season was in part to due the goaltending from Grade 9 player Jamie Sanford who developed herself into the Number One goalie and a player the Malvern team is thrilled to have in net for years to come.
“As a coach, working with this group of girls has been one of my, if not my most favourite hockey team to ever be a part of,” said Malvern head coach Korey Brand.
“Our Grade 12s and leadership group has created a fun and welcoming environment for all of the team members to be a part of. Their love for the game, friendship for one another and positive energy will never be forgotten. It is never a dull moment at one of our practices or before and after our games. I am so proud of each and every one of them.”
After a strong season in the Toronto District Secondary School Athletic Association (TDSSAA) Tier 1 league, the Malvern girls will now compete at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) championships in Windsor on March 21 to 23.
Malvern will be competing at the AAA level at the OFSAA championships. The AAA level is the highest for OFSAA and is for teams from schools that have a student population of more than 950.
Black Knight team members include: Celena Mickevicius (C) ,Kate Custance (C) , Abby Calvert (A), Caitlin Rother (A), Téa Lavallée (A), Jamie Sanford, Rachel Aziz, Morgan Lille, Sophie Larkin, Lily Branton, Eden Doty, Camille Cummins, Charlie Holmes, Mary MacDonald, Avery O’Neill, Hannah Longley, Ruby Wood, Allison O’Leary and Jade Vachon.
Coaches are Korey Brand (Head Coach) and Carter Livingstone (Assistant Coach).