Women's National Championships provide plenty of thrills
May 23, 2018
With representation from the Pacific to the Atlantic it was a truly Canadian affair at the 2018 Women's Canadian Handball Championship in Alberta.
Day one action on Friday saw Alberta and Ontario record a pair of victories. Ontario, in their first appearance in the women's competition in over a decade, surprised many with their early victories and a major part of that was the play of Ornella Palla who led the tournament with a remarkable 40 goals; 8 more than the next closest scorer.
Vancouver Handball Club came in with solid performances from Charlotte Mohn (20 goals) and Candice Tourancheau (19 goals) but fell to Alberta and then to Ontario in a nail-biting thriller.
Laurie Lacasse (31 goals) and Yuki Landry (25 goals) were a dangerous two-pronged weapon for Quebec as they went 1-1 record on matchday 1 while Mantioba gave spirited performances but were unable to land in the win column.
However, the Keystone Province stepped up their game on matchday two with a victory over Vancouver and stayed competitive right to the end against Alberta in a 23-20 loss.
Quebec ramped up their efforts with two vital victories over Vancouver and Ontario with Lacasse putting on another solid series of performances.
Alberta remained undefeated with Haven Wong and Janel Rogiani giving particularly dominating performances.
The first semi final on Sunday proved to be an absolute classic as Quebec defeated a tough Ontario side by a 26-24 score in extra tme while in the second semi Manitoba managed to separate themselves with a hard earned victory over a never-say-die Vancouver club 21-12.
After an unfortunate ACL injury saw key Ontario player Barbara Mair leave early in the bronze medal match, Manitoba were able to capitalize on their opportunities en route to a tight 25-23 win and earn a place on the podium.
A vintage rivalry between Alberta and Quebec was widely expected for the championship and exactly what the crowd in Sherwood Park received. It was a great battle bwteen Wong and Lacasse with each notching six goals. It was a close game throughout but the host would eventually put enough distance and lock it defensively to win 31-24 in front of their home supporters.