CAMBRIDGE – The schedule makers certainly didn’t pave an easy road to the medal round for the Cambridge Turbos under-19 team at the Canadian Ringette Championships in London.
In pool play, the Turbos, the fifth-ranked team in Ontario, drew Team Manitoba, who incidentally won the Cambridge Ringette Tournament ; the second-ranked Ontario team, Guelph; the Edmonton Elite, ranked third in Alberta; and Team Saskatchewan.
None of the games will be easy.
“What I figure is that we’re going to need two wins to make it to the championship rounds,” said Turbos head coach Andrew Patton.
“So we’re probably going to need to upset either Manitoba or Guelph. Or have to win the games against Edmonton or Saskatchewan.
And that’s always a factor at the national championships. But the key is, according to Patton, is to stick to your game plan and make small adjustments throughout the game instead of trying to play against your opponents’ strategy.
What the Turbos have going for them is speed and they’re going to use that to their advantage.
That speed comes from a young team, with just four, 18 year olds on the roster – forwards Ashley Heimbecker and Julia Patton, defenceman Hannah Starzynski and goalie McKayla Jarvie.
The forward lines are rounded out by Natasha Phipps, Cassandra Tuck, Maddie Baker, Paige Mulder and Shayna Dramnitzke, along with defencemen Caitlin Collins, Sierra Mitobe, Olivia Rebelo and Sydney Lane. Kendra Nesbitt is the second netminder.
“Our team gives a lot of teams fits. We’re one of those teams that nobody wants to play,” Patton said. “If we get good goaltending and play our system we definitely have a chance. We only have 12 skaters and most teams have 15, so we have to play a good possession game and make sure that by playing good possession we’re not drained because we’re playing a lot of games.”
The one thing that has hurt the Turbos this season is there inability to finish out games.
That came back to bite them at the double-A provincials in Waterloo, where two close losses to Pickering and Richmond Hill were the difference when they were shut out of the medal round.
“We’re one of those teams where most of the games we are either tied or winning and then we get scored on with 10 seconds left. If we can just overcome that mental barrier we definitely have a good chance of competing and playing in that championship round.”