Langley Lightning strikes in Kelowna

In a battle of undefeated teams, Langley edged Tri-Cities to win gold.

The Langley Lightning feasted on opposing teams during a peewee girls hockey tournament in Kelowna over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

The Lightning A girls went a perfect 4-0 to win the six-team tourney, held Oct. 10 and 11.

The Lightning set the tone for the weekend by beating the host Kelowna Rockets 12-0 in their tourney opener early Saturday morning.

Lightning captain Hailey Maurice scored five goals to lead Langley’s attack.

Meanwhile, the defensive tandem of Madison Kubilius and Abbey Hall prevented the Rockets from getting lift off the entire game.

In their second game played later Saturday, Langley skated to a 5-0 win over a scrappy Prince George Cougars squad.

Julia Clauzel led Langley offensively with a goal and an assist while Kennedy Prachnau had a strong game at defence. Langley forwards Kate Vendramin and Kayla White used their speed to put pressure on Cougar players all game.

Early Sunday morning, Langley played its third and final round robin game against a big Vancouver Angels squad.

Nicole Nordal and Samantha Peebles each scored for Langley while forwards Cayley Geddes and Rachel Boles both played a strong game in a 3-0 Langley victory.

Langley finished the round robin stage undefeated with a 3-0 record.

On the other side of the tournament draw,  the Tri-Cities Predators also went undefeated in round robin action, posting a 3-0 record.

So while families were sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner Sunday evening, the Lightning were preparing to play their fourth game in two days.

The championship game was an epic battle between the two undefeated teams.

In the first period Hailey Maurice staked Langley to an early 1-0 lead, flipping the puck over the Predators goalie with a nifty backhand shot.

Still in the first period, Langley’s Esther Boelema scored what would be the eventual  tournament winning goal on a wraparound from behind the net.

Lightning goaltender Hailey MacLeod played an outstanding game, shutting the door on the persistent Predators to backstop Langley to a 3-1 win and the gold medal.

MacLeod was not in a very giving mood over the weekend, allowing  just one goal against in four tournament games.

Lightning coach Paul Whintors said teams develop significantly when they can play four games in two days.

“The girls responded extremely well to working on tactical play and battling through longer-than-usual games,”  Whintors said. “All 13 little bodies are bruised and tired but the celebratory smiles and excitement in the dressing room afterwards seemed to make all other feelings go away. A very proud experience early in the season for the coaches and parents.”


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