Loss to Edge School teaches OHA female prep about pressure
The goals by Daria O'Neill and Alex Serpico helped the Edge School win the championship 5-2 on Feb. 24. The teams met earlier in the tournament with OHA winning 4-3 in a shootout.
"(Assistant coach) Gina (Kingsbury) and I both felt that five-on-five we actually carried most of the play," said OHA coach Rebecca Russell. "Just got into some penalty trouble … and it was tough to come back from after that."
While the OHA didn't achieve their early season goal of winning that tournament, Russell said her players understand the pressure that comes with a final game. In having a young team, Russell said she could see they possessed a nervous energy.
"I think every time we go into a final like that, it's a learning experience of how to handle the pressure of going into a championship game, the pressure of wanting to win it," she said. "I thought it was great for all of our players."
OHA defenceman Sabrina Hosner said they were excited to beat Edge School for the first time and it gave them momentum.
"Playing Edge in the final was the best thing for us as they were our best competitors," said Hosner. "I don't think there was anything we could have changed."
Hosner said what the players gained from that was the belief they can compete with anyone.
"That game we got closer as a team," she said.
Hannah Miller earned a spot on the tournament all-star team.
Prior to playing in Winnipeg, the OHA team competed for the Challenge Cup in Washington, D.C. and missed out on semifinal action by one point. Russell said after a difficult start in which they tied the Boston Shamrocks 0-0, lost to Detroit's Honeybaked 2-0 and Notre Dame from Saskatchewan 5-4, something lit a fire in her players. They defeated Michigan's Little Caesars 6-2 and the St. Louis Blues 7-2 in their final game.
"We just completely dominated two great teams," she said. "That kind of led into us performing the way we did in Winnipeg."
Next up for the OHA female prep teams is a final league game against Notre Dame at the University of North Dakota and their Junior Women's Hockey League playoffs. All 12 JWHL teams will convene in Grand Forks, North Dakota for the playoffs March 8 to 10. All games will be streamed live at no charge.