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2013-12-08 at 14:44

Triple gold for Queens

By Matt Vis,
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The Thunder Bay Queens organization doesn’t have too many opportunities to play at home.

That’s why they make the most of every chance they get.

Thunder Bay claimed gold in all three divisions of the annual Queens Showcase as the First Class Gas bantam AA Queens capped off the golden trifecta, scoring a 3-2 victory over the Schreiber North Shore Stars in the midget final at Fort William First Nations Arena on Sunday.

“I thought (home ice) gave us a bit of an advantage,” said bantam AA Queens head coach Rob Varrin after the game.

“We were well-rested and took advantage of that and outskated teams and pushed the puck.”

The team was playing up an age group for the tournament. Game winning goal scorer Madeline Browczuk said the shift meant a different philosophy in how the squad approached their game.

“We had to play really aggressive and be on the puck all the time and get shots to the net,” Browczuk said.

Varrin said it was a challenge for the group, but said he believes it will pay dividends later in the year.

“The big thing is trying to move the puck a little quicker because the girls are stronger and a couple years older,” Varrin said. “The defence did a good job of getting the puck out and trying to get transition going.”

The Queens made sure to get a quick start in the contest between regional foes, as Emilie Varrin found the back of the net just 15 seconds after the opening puck drop.

“It was a huge start for us,” Varrin said. “Usually we’re battling because we struggle to get a good start but (Sunday) we came out of the gates and it was an advantage for us.”

Thunder Bay added another before the end of the period when Kaylee Grosjean took advantage of some open ice and rang a shot off the iron and across the line.

Avery Figliomeni brought Schreiber back to within one with just 24 seconds remaining in the frame by eluding the last defender and then beating Queens netminder Makenna Burke on the blocker side.

The game winner came in the second for the Queens, as Madeline Browczuk provided crucial insurance by converting on a loose puck in a scramble in front of Stars netminder Danielle Nadeau.

She knew at the time it might be the difference maker, but that didn’t mean the final stretches weren’t nerve wracking.

“We just played the body,” Browczuk said. “When it was getting down they were starting to outplay us but we just really had to really go down deep.”

Kayla Koevoet scored the lone goal of the third period on the powerplay to bring the Stars back within one, but that was as close as the visitors would get.

The Triad Contracting Queens got the ball rolling in a positive manner by starting out the morning with the first gold, claiming the peewee division. They blanked the Winnipeg East Saints 4-0 with Josee Robinson recording the shutout.

Brenna Nicol, Mackenzie Lehto, Victoria Darosa and Lucy Newman scored in the victory.

The Manshield Construction Queens captured the bantan crown with a 3-0 decision over the Fort Frances Leafs. Samantha Stubbs stopped 13 shots for the shutout and Brenna Bohonos, Victoria Zieroth and Katrina Cimini provided the offence.

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