Lady Gens off to WECSSAA hockey finals after dramatic win over Leamington

 

Savannah Bouzide scores a second period goal versus Leamington Monday afternoon. Bouzide scored a pair of goals in General Amherst’s dramatic 4-3 win in the third game of the WECSSAA girls hockey semi-final against Leamington.

Savannah Bouzide scores a second period goal versus Leamington Monday afternoon. Bouzide scored a pair of goals in General Amherst’s dramatic 4-3 win in the third game of the WECSSAA girls hockey semi-final against Leamington.

By Ron Giofu

 

Olivia Gyori’s goal with just 46.7 seconds in the third period not only gave the General Amherst Lady Gens the win over Leamington, but it also put the team in the WECSSAA girls hockey finals for the first time in the program’s history.

The Lady Gens downed the Leamington Lions 4-3 Monday afternoon in the third and deciding game of the best-of-three series. Amherst won the first game Feb. 13 by a 4-2 score but dropped Game 2 last Thursday in Leamington 4-3 in overtime.

Leamington’s Ashley Clifford scored the only goal of the first period, converting on a two-on-one 11:52 into the first period. Emily Hamelin tied it for the Lady Gens at the 6:18 mark of the second period but that was followed shortly thereafter by two goals in a 36 second span by Leamington’s Jillian Isles and Shailyn Waites giving the visitors a 3-1 lead.

Savannah Bouzide cut Amherst’s deficit to one before the second period was out and tied the score just 1:14 into the third period before Gyori’s heroics in the final minute.

“We talked before the game about discipline and perseverance, believing in each other and playing for each other,” said General Amherst head coach Scott Hamelin. “I’m just really proud of the girls. They willed themselves to the win.”

Hamelin said the girls bought into the system he brought in this year and said the win was great for the girls hockey program at Amherst.

“All the credit goes to the girls,” he said. “They should be proud. All the coaches are proud of them.”

The two goal deficit saw Hamelin compare that to the 2-0 hole the Canadian women’s team found themselves in last week at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia before finding a way to win the gold medal.

“It’s a great group of girls,” he said of the Lady Gens.

Assistant coach Dan Pettypiece, who was the team’s original head coach and one of the founders of the program, said it was a day many have waited seven years to see happen.

“We’re extremely excited and happy,” said Gillian Sparling about her and her teammates moving on to the finals. “This win was for Corey Meloche (a player who helped found the program who later died in a snowmobiling accident). We’re just happy and excited. We just want to win it all.”
The WECSSAA finals open today in Lakeshore against the Belle River Nobles before the best-of-three series comes to Amherstburg for Game 2 Thursday at 3 p.m.

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