The Duncan MacDonald Memorial Community Gardens was recently the site for a first time ever, U22 Junior “A” Women’s Hockey Game to be held in Trenton.
The event was the brainchild of City of Quinte West Councillor, Duncan Armstrong, and former Trentonian, Ted Brown, head coach of the London Devilettes, who played host to the visiting Kingston Ice Wolves coached by Troy Sweet, also from the Quinte region. The teams play in the U22 Provincial Hockey League, a 24 team loop that extends from Windsor to Ottawa.
Brown and Armstrong, along with brother Terry “Hawk” Brown, had tossed around the idea for a number of years and decided that it was time to promote high level women’s hockey in the Bay of Quinte Region by hosting a regulation game at “The Dunc”.
Coach Brown has been involved with coaching the Devilettes for over 9 years, including his time as an associate coach with the University of Western Ontario Women’s Varsity team.
The Browns have also conducted hockey schools in the Trenton and Brighton area for years and have donated their time for 12 summers to travel to Nunavut, Iqaluit, Kuujjuak and Northern Quebec to teach youth the game of hockey while learning about their culture.
Brown’s hard work and dedication has resulted in three players from his Devilettes team playing on the U18 Team Canada that won Gold in the World Championship in the USA in 2022-23. Four players were also members of the U18 Team Canada that won gold in Sweden in 2023.
Not only was this premiere event about promoting women’s hockey but it was also looked upon as a tool to inspire young girls to get involved in our national sport.
Following opening ceremonies which included flag bearers from the Belleville Bearcats(Addison Tugnette, Rylie Allen) and Colborne Firehawks(Hannah Ostroskie), and included acknowledging the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, along with having the RCAF Flyers Women’s National Championship team as part of the ceremonial puck drop, London opened the low scoring tilt with a goal by Aviah Bramer at the 10:25 mark in the 1st period. London stretched the lead to 2-0 with a goal by Estelle LeBeau midway thru the 2nd.
Kingston finally struck gold with a goal by Jerika Spry of Stirling at the 1:45 mark. The game was a tight checking affair which appeared to be a London victory until Alexis Brunet sniped a top shelf wrist shot to tie the game 2-2 with 6 seconds remaining.
In overtime the game continued to be a high paced affair with some excellent skill sets being exhibited by both teams, at both ends of the rink.
At the 8:46 mark, Zoe Wilson scored by unloading a quick snap shot that ended with her being mobbed by her teammates.
For a first-time taste of live Junior A Women’s Hockey, fans went away pleased with the high calibre level of play. With the advent of the newly formed National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL), the call for more local girls hockey games is in all likelihood going to become a reality.
Quinte West Minor Hockey Association was also the beneficiary from the game whereby funds raised at the gate and via Chuck-a-Puck, went to the organization. Over $1,100 was raised from the 300 fans who attended the game. The organizers also conducted a food drive during the game for the local Trenton Share. and Care Food Bank.