Black Knights hit a stone wall

Norsemen win 3-1 on the stellar play of Brittany Hartwick

One tough North Toronto goalie stacked the pads against a third period push by Malvern Dec. 7.

The Black Knights bombarded Norsemen tender Brittney Hartwick with plenty of scoring opportunities but all for naught as North Toronto prevailed 3-1 in Tier 2 girls hockey.

Malvern coach Steve Wood was impressed by Hartwick’s composure considering the pressure his charges gave her.

“The North Toronto goalie was the reason why we didn’t tie the game in the third period,” he said. “She was outstanding.”

That’s not to say the Black Knight’s Bridget Collinge was insufficient in between posts either.

“We played outstanding on defence,” Wood said of his charges. “Collinge, in the net, played the best game of the season by far.”

Collinge allowed a goal apiece from North Toronto’s Alisha Giel and Kaitlyn Harris in the first period.

During the second, Giel notched a second marker after her shot trickled past Collinge, but that was all North Toronto would get as the Black Knight shut the door.

Wood also credited his defence — Emma Korbs, Colleen Daly, Emily Pitre and Erin Smith — with keeping pace with the Norsemen’s on-ice speed.

“Those girls played a beautiful game against a quick-skating, fast-passing team like North Toronto,” Wood said.

Breaking Hartwick’s shutout was the Black Knights’ Catherine MacKeigan who picked up Pitre’s pointshot and dumped it in the back of the net.

A close shot in the third by Kaitlyn Harris hit the post, causing gasps in the stands.

North Toronto’s strong play was a bonus to the theme of having a good time, Norsemen coach Shawn Hill said.

“In terms of connecting we just go out there to play and have fun. We don’t run a lot of systems,” he said. “We try to play even lines for all our players, making sure everyone gets equal ice time.”

Standouts were Hartwick and Giel, but Hill is approaching Tier 2 casually, letting the rep players enjoy the spirit of the game.

“A lot of these girls are playing the Double A, Triple A, so we have a philosophy that all levels have a chance to play and enjoy themselves,” he said.

It was the first game for both teams and Wood is optimistic his troupe can keep their momentum.

“Great start to our season,” he said. “We lost the game but we generated an offence and played a really powerful third period.”

For North Toronto, the holiday break will be a chance to unwind before the season picks up in 2010.

“Our next game isn’t until January, so we’re going to take a little bit of a break, eat some turkey and get back on the ice Jan. 8 with our next practice,” Hill said. “We’re just going to move forward.”

About this article:

By: Brian Baker
Posted: Dec 21 2009 11:00 am
Filed in: Sports
Edition: Toronto