By Doug Kennedy
Saugeen Maitland AA U 18 is well represented by three local girls playing hockey this winter. Ella Gratto, Dayle Chinnick and Casey Beisel all play for the U18 team. They play their home games in Teeswater and travel as far as Niagara Falls for their road games. This league is the top calibre league these young ladies can play in. I went to Teeswater a couple of weeks ago and watched a great game against Niagara Falls. They have a 7 -3-1 record so far this year.
Gratto and Chinnick have been playing for Saugeen Maitland since they were 11 years old. Beisel joined the group when she was 13.
Gratto has had many highlights over the years, but the biggest one is the lifelong friendships she has built up and the great coaches she has learned from over the years. She has also gotten to know several opponents over the years that have become friends.
The travel to Pittsburg, Cornwall and Erie have also been highlights for Gratto over the years, to play top competition.
One of Beisel’s biggest highlights was a trip to the Erie, Pennsylvania tier one showcase, where they stayed in a ski lodge and started to build lifetime friendships with her teammates. They also toured Mercy Hurst University, where they had the opportunity to visualize the life of a division one student-athlete. They ended up winning this tournament.
One of Chinnick’s biggest highlights was in second year peewee, when they finished first in the lower lakes division and went on to win the provincials. This year, their team finished third overall at the Stoney Creek showcase in October.
All three girls would like to play high school hockey at KDSS this year, if it is played.
Future goals for Chinnick include playing university hockey and helping at girls hockey camps. Gratto would like to coach and possibly come back to Saugeen Maitland to coach young girls. She is going to university next year and plans to explore any opportunities that might arise from hockey. Beisel would also like to to get in to coaching after finishing school.
These three young women sound like they will give back to the sport they love, which will be great for so many young women in the future. I am sure they will be successful in whatever role they take on in the future.
It takes a big commitment from these parents and young women to play this level of hockey. It is worth the trip to go to Teeswater to watch a home game.
The Kincardine Bulldogs won their only game of the weekend 1-0 in overtime, against Mitchell. Jordan Moulton scored on a breakaway to end this exciting game. Ryan Tanner picked up the shutout, stopping 38 shots.
Ripley Wolves lost 5-1 in Clinton last Friday night. Brett Burrows scored the only goal. They travel to Durham on Friday night and play Lucknow at home on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Our U18 team lost in the Wingham silver stick semi-finals,-2-1 to Tavistock, on Sunday morning.
They won all three games in the round robin, defeating Ayr-2-0, Twin Centre 4-3 and Walkerton 3-0.
Mitchell defeated Tavistock in the final.
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