MIDDLETON - The Middleton Monarchs girls took a quick 2-0 lead in the first period, but Bridgetown persistence narrowed the gap in the second, and a goal by Courtney Veinott in the final minute of the game tied it at three apiece in Valley High School Hockey League girls action Nov. 11 in Middleton.
The game was Middleton’s home opener and the Bridgetown Hawk’s second contest after a 2-1 loss at the hands of the West Kings Wolverines the night before in Kingston.
The Monarchs’ manager Tammy Belanger said she was pleased with the result of the Saturday game considering Middleton played with a short bench. They had one player out on a two-game suspension and another was away for minor hockey.
And she was happy with the first goal by the team’s youngest player Kaylee Ross from Lauren Burns and Carly Dunford with 11:37 left in the first period. Trinity Chesley made it 2-0 for MRHS with 4:05 left when she was set up by Tristen Saltzman and Burns.
In the second period Bridgetown struck back with an early goal by Hannah Longmire from Jenna Kittilsin and Raina Saunders less than two minutes into the frame. But Chesley scored her second of the game unassisted with 5:36 left to make it 3-1 for Middleton. Emilee Cress won that one back with less than three minutes left, in a play that included teammates Alison Gates and Nicole Vanasse -- and ended the second period 3-2 for the Monarchs.
In the third period, it was back and forth with netminders Ryean Emmett for Middleton, and Emma Clayton for Bridgetown turning away all shots until Veinott’s marker from Bryanna Atkinson and Cress in the dying seconds of the game.
It was a clean game with Middleton racking up six penalty minutes while the Hawks had only four.
“Both teams played back and forth but showed signs of exhaustion in the third,” said Belanger. “Jenna Marshall, who was away at a Remembrance ceremony, joined her team for the third period and they were all to happy to see her.”
Hawks coach Keith Veinott said Bridgetown was missing a couple of defensemen and had some younger forwards covering in that role.
“We’ve got a really young team but they try hard, and that’s all we really ask,” said Veinott. He said half the team is Grades 7, 8, and 9, with one Grade 11, and seven Grade 12s -- but only five of the seniors with hockey experience. He praised goalie Clayton who he described as one of the better goalies in the league.
Veinott is no stranger to girls high school hockey. He coached the Middleton girls a few years back including the year they hosted provincials.
Middleton plays host to the West Kings Wolverines Nov. 18 a 6 p.m. in Middleton.
The Bridgetown Hawks, who already met the Wolverines in that 2-1 loss, are scheduled for their third consecutive road game Nov. 13 against the Avon View Avalanche in a 6 p.m. contest in Windsor. The Hawks finally have their home opener in Bridgetown on Nov. 17 in a 7 p.m. matchup against Barrington Barons.