SPORTSGATE HOCKEY: FEB 24, 2019: With a win and a tie on the final weekend of the regular season, the Kingston Jr's wrapped up their most successful Provincial Women's Hockey League campaign — and one of the best overall in the 15-year-old league's history. The Jrs captured the league pennant, finishing with 28 wins, just two losses in regulation time, seven ties and one overtime loss, for a total of 64 points, nine more than the second-place Waterloo K-W Rangers. Kingston's best previous finish came two seasons ago when the Ice Wolves finished 11th with 40 points in 38 games.
Among historical team performances in the league, the Ice Wolves' ranks among the top. Since the league expanded to 20 teams in 2012-13, the year Kingston entered the loop, only five teams have accumulated more points in their 38 games, led by the 2013-14 Nepean Jr. Wildcats, who gained 67. In terms of regulation losses (2), the Ice Wolves are tied for the lowest since 2012-13 with the 2015-16 Durham West Lightning, and they are tied for the third-lowest total overall in the 15-year-old league. The Toronto Aeros lead that category with zero in 2005-06 and one in 2011-12. In 15 seasons, only 11 teams have posted a higher points percentage than Kingston's .842, with the '05-06 Aeros pacing the pack at .950 (27-0-3) for 57 points in 30 games.
The Ice Wolves tied the Aurora Jr. Panthers 1-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Invista Centre. Tatum White scored her team-leading 19th goal of the season 1:09 into the second period and the Ice Wolves almost held on for a victory, but Lauren Dabrowski scored with 1:30 left in the third to tie the score. Aurora had pulled its goaltender in favour of an extra attacker.
With her 19th goal, White tied the Ice Wolves' single-season record, set in the team's inaugural season of 2012-13 by Alysha Burriss. Points-wise, White finished with 39, the third-highest total of the season behind Alexa Hoskin (42) and Darcie Lappan (40). All three surpassed the previous single-season record of 37 set in 2016-17 by Brianna Gaffney. Kingston outshot Aurora 30-25 in the game, which saw the Ice Wolves play without four regular forwards and a defenceman. Goaltender Alexa Gibson made 24 saves for the Ice Wolves and improved her record to 16-1-2, giving her the most wins and fewest losses among regular goaltenders in the league.
On Friday night, Emma Gorski gained the goaltending win, stopping 23 of the 24 shots directed her way as the Ice Wolves downed the Ottawa Lady Sens 3-1 at the Invista Centre. Gorski, with a 12-2-5 record, tied for the sixth-most wins and posted the second-fewest losses in the league. Both Gibson (1.40) and Gorski (1.54) boasted goals-against averages that were below the previous club record of 1.76 set in 2016-17 by Whitney Morton.
All of the game's scoring was packed into the second period. Chihiro Suzuki gave Kingston a 1-0 lead at 2:24 with her seventh goal of the season before Gigi Pora tied the score 2:34 later. Scout Watkins-Southward netted the game-winning and insurance goals at 5:47 and 6:06, respectively. She finished the season with 15 goals.
The Ice Wolves will now play the No. 16 Bluewater Jr. Hawks (10-22-4-2) in a best-of-five first-round playoff series. In two regular season meetings, the Ice Wolves beat the Hawks 3-1 and 5-1.