LITTLETON, Colo. — The MCYH Edge walked into the locker room with tears welling following a New York state championship loss. A last-second goal cost the Edge the state championship, in addition to what they thought was losing out on a trip to the USA Hockey-Chipotle Girls Tier II 19U National Championships.
“Our girls were crushed,” said coach Scott Reston.
And when Reston told his team they earned an at-large bid to the tournament, they weren’t sure if they could believe it.
“One of the girls said, ‘Coach you better not be joking,’” Reston said. “And quickly the tears turned to smiles.”
Those smiles widened Monday after the MCYH Edge capitalized on its second chance with a 3-0 win over Minnesota Prep White in the 1A championship game.
The Edge went undefeated through the national tournament, outscoring opponents, 30-9, and capped the tournament with back-to-back shutout wins.
“They just played their hearts out. I don’t think we’ve played six games over the course of five days before, but they just don’t give up and kept on going,” Reston said.
Three different goal scorers helped the Edge to a national title. The team held a 2-0 lead after the first period thanks to goals by Adrienne Reston and Kaitlyn Diem. Emily O’Duffy, who assisted Reston’s goal, scored midway through the third period on an empty net.
Edge goaltender Victoria Campana stopped all 36 shots that came her way, giving her team extended opportunity as Minnesota Prep White outshot the Edge 36-19 in the title game. Campana finished with 102 saves, a .953 save percentage and two shutouts.
Scott Reston said as a whole, the tournament was tightly contested despite a dominant point differential on the board. In a win over the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers on Saturday, Reston said it was the closest 5-1 game he’s ever coached. But knowing from experience how quickly tables can turn, Reston said his team’s confidence was key over the course of the five-day tournament.
“They felt they were the better team and felt they deserved to win. But they knew they had to do the hard work to get there,” Reston said.
Ten different players scored for the Edge throughout the tournament, led by Diem who had eight goals and five assists. Adrienne Reston had five goals, while four others scored three times in the six-game tournament.
“I think it gave the girls a lot of confidence,” Scott Reston said of the team’s 8-0 win in the semifinal Sunday night. “When a lot of girls contribute, that breeds confidence across all the girls.”
The Edge outshot the Utah Lady Grizzlies, 30-8, in the semifinals Sunday night. Diem had a hat trick and two assists and Kaitlin Cowie had two goals to help their team punch their ticket to the national championship.
Following the loss in the state championship, Reston said his team adopted the mantra, ‘We haven’t come this far to only come this far,’ and saw the national tournament as a second chance.
“When they found out they were coming here after having lost, there was just that feeling of a second chance, and it was so big for them and they’ve really focused on that,” Reston said. “We really did come so close. We won in a shootout to get to the [state] championship, and had we not won in that shootout, we wouldn’t be here today, and I really do think it gave them that feeling that this is a second chance.”
This tournament will be cemented in the team’s memory for years to come, in what could have been an early exit at multiple points throughout the year.
“For them to be able to say when they’re my age that they were national champions at 16 or 17 years old, that’s pretty special and going to be a great memory for them,” Reston said.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.