The 2010 Lake Raiders played hard and partied hard, a fitting tribute to the memory of Dianne Trottier, whose number seven we wore on our shoulders at the recent PowerHockey Cup.
We didn’t win the championship, but at the end of the day, our bronze medals felt as good as gold. We were the best Canadian team at the tournament and are pretty damn proud of what we accomplished.
After a subpar 1-2 record in pool play, we picked it up a notch once the playoffs began. After surrendering the opening goal in our quarterfinal game against Calgary, we took it to them, winning 5-1, setting up a semi-final rematch against Michigan later that evening. We outplayed the Mustangs the night before, but ran into a hot goalie and lost 4-2. Michigan beat us 9-3 to advance to the championship game. The lopsided score is somewhat deceiving as it was a two-goal game late in the second period when a controversial call went against us and from there the wheels just fell off.
Coach Carl Lavoie was quick to tell us after the game that we still had something to play for and we responded in a big way the next afternoon, playing our best game of the tournament in defeating the Minnesota Stars 3-1. Michelle Du Boulay was heroic in leading the Lake Raiders with a hat trick, playing with a number of broken toes she suffered in previous games.
Torrance Ho was outstanding in goal as a late substitute but was cursed when Captain Jordan Lavoie committed the cardinal sin during a timeout with under two minutes to play and mentioned on the bench that he had a shutout.
So we didn’t quite reverse the opening day 3-0 loss to Minnesota, the team was nevertheless ecstatic to beat the Stars when it mattered and wrap up the tournament on a high.
Meghan Hines was stellar on the blue line throughout the four-day event and was named best defenseman for the second consecutive PowerHockey Cup.
As a team, it was especially nice to have played so well when the Toronto Sun had come out to cover the game for a story that would appear the following week in the paper. City TV also was at Ryerson to provide updates as the tournament progressed.
The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, made the ceremonial ball drop and said a few words prior to the championship game which the Minnesota Saints took 6-4 over Michigan.
They were led by the super strong and super fast Chad Wilson, who copped tournament MVP honours. Michigan’s Dean Olivas was named best goalie, while 10-year-old George “the Bandit” Silvey from Carolina took home the most sportsmanlike player award.
We were privileged to have Olympic judoka Kimberly Ribble-Orr as well as Canadian national hockey team member Jennifer Botterill come out on championship Monday and pose with her gold medal from the Vancouver Games. Calgary Flames centre Matt Stajan also made an appearance over the weekend.
Brian Roman got the festivities under way with beautiful renditions of both the Canadian and US National Anthems to wrap up the opening ceremony on Friday morning.
Thank you to the sponsors for their financial support without them, none of this would have been possible, our sponsors:
BMOFinancial Group, Shoppers Home Health Care, Deloitte, Lionhart (Canada) Ltd. Anderson Press, CB Richard Ellis & Carol Trattner, Re/Max Cornacchia, Campbell Lawless CA, Penmor Mortgage Capital Corporation, Elizabeth Grant Skin Care, Roynat Capital, Entire Image Solutions Inc., Ferma Building Supplies Ltd., Edwards & Jones Jewellers, A-1 Delivery Service Logistics, Macs @ Work
Special thanks to officials Jim Davis, Graeme Reynolds, Doug Pearce, Tim Coleman, and Devin Briceland, to our fabulous volunteers, scorekeepers, and Coaches; Carl Lavoie, Clayton Thomas and Allen Palmiere and Jamie Jordan, our Master of Ceremonies. Thanks to Ron Celsie and Mary-Jane Lowes (Sean’s mom) for lending a hand everywhere and wherever needed throughout the tournament. Special thanks to Abood Qureshy of Shoppers Home Health for being on top of all equipment repairs.
Lastly, tremendous thanks to Paul MacDougall and Esther Dzura, our tournament directors, their dedication, and support were instrumental in helping to bring everything together and make this event a huge success.
The games were broadcast by I-Sport Media over the Internet and a number of them are archived at www.gretzky.com/tpwhl.