SAN JOSE, Calif. — During pool play, the Chazy (N.Y.) Lady Flyers suffered their only loss in the USA Hockey Tier II 19-and-Under national championships, a 6-2 decision to the Keweenaw (Mich.) Storm.
In that April 5 game at Sharks Ice at Fremont, the Storm led 3-1 after the first period, 5-2 after two and outshot Chazy 28-14 in the first 34 minutes.
Don’t think Chazy forgot that game when they faced Keweenaw again for the national title on Sunday. Chazy needed two overtimes, but Kallie Villemaire, who got a tip in goal after a shot from the left point by Sydney Battistoni, helped the Lady Flyers to the championship in a 3-2 win.
“The girls came out knowing what they had to do,” Chazy coach Ray Guay said. “That [first] game was actually closer than the score showed. We didn’t come cross-country to lay down and take a bath in this one, that’s for sure.”
Vallemaire started the scoring with a first period goal at 8:14, thanks to assists from Amanda Peterson and Lauren O’Connor. The Lady Flyers made it 2-0 at 5:45 of the second period on Jordynne McDougall’s tally, assisted by Jessica Huber and Ashley Terry.
But the Storm kept coming. Jessica Schlaff put Keweenaw on the board at 6:47 of the second period and then tied the score at 2-2 with a tally at 12:05 of the third period. Alexis Pyykkonen assisted on both goals and Rachel Kinnunen got the primary assist on the second.
Keneenaw out shot Chazy 5-2 in the first overtime, but in the second extra period, Villemaire got the lone Chazy shot at 3:31 by tipping in Battistoni’s blast from the left point.
“I told them in any overtime, it’s one of those things,” Guay said. “A lucky bounce. The puck is in the right place at the right time. You take it for what it is. It’s unexpected, but it’s a win.”
Keweenaw out shot Chazy 30-18. Goaltender Christina Emery saved 28 of 30 shots in nearly 65 minutes of playing time.
The win over Keweenaw was the second one-goal win of the tournament for Chazy. On Saturday, the Lady Flyers built a 5-1 lead on the Washington Wild before allowing three goals and had to hold on for a 5-4 win.
After losing that first game to the Storm, Guay reviewed the video and knew he had to make some changes.
“We used a different forecheck,” he said. “We jammed them in the center. We used a 1-2-2. I also made one change on defense and shortened my bench. It paid off.”
The national championship was the first for Chazy. The Alliance (Texas) Bulldogs won the previous two titles.
Winning the national championship capped off a memorable season for Chazy. Not only did the Lady Flyers win their first national title, but they also won their first state title.
“I started the girls program about 11 years ago,” Guay said. “These girls have been with me all along. This is my senior group. These guys are family. We went out with a bang.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.