By Larry Moko, Special to the News
The initials BT now have an added meaning at Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School.
Thanks to their girls’ hockey team, BT could also be short for Back on Top.
The Bishop Tonnos Titans edged the St. Thomas More Knights 2-1 at Morgan Firestone Arena last Tuesday to capture the 2013 Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association girls’ hockey championship. It’s a return to glory for the Titans, winners of four straight league titles from 2008-11. A 3-2 loss to St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves in the final last season snapped the streak.
“It’s great for the school,” Tonnos coach Dino Cavarzan said. “The kids work very hard. We’ve had a great program for the past seven years.”
During that period, the Titans also brought home two silver and two bronze medals from tournaments staged by the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations.
The first-place Titans (10-1-1) trailed 1-0 at the end of the first period against the second-place Knights (8-3-1). A brilliant rink-length dash and deke by Grade 10 forward Sarah Hine produced the opening goal. She’s widely regarded as one of the most talented players in the league.
In the second period, however, defenceman Devon Morrison keyed the comeback with a couple of shots from the point 27 seconds apart during the final three minutes. Both scoring plays involved a wrist shot by Morrison from the same spot just inside the Knights’ blueline. On the first, the four-year Titans veteran got credit for the goal. “It had eyes,” Cavarzan said of the shot. Then, on what proved to be the winning goal, her shot was stopped by goaltender Emily Coles before Marissa Almeida pounced on the rebound to knock it in. Said Cavarzan: “We were getting our players to the net. When you’re down, you’ve got to do that. We found the puck and were able to slide it in.”
The Knights had a few dangerous scoring opportunities in the final minutes, but Titans goaltender Mary Stewart held her ground.
Other members of the Titans are defencemen Kate Randazzo, Lauren Cavarzan and Alesya DePellegrin. The rest of the forwards are Emilee Paron, Anita Paone, Jade Mancini, Catherine Ciapolla, Adrianna Stanidis, Chiara Forcelli and Samantha Lombardi.
All but one of the Titans also plays for an outside club team. However, according to the comments overheard by Cavarzan in the dressing room, winning a high school championship was thrilling and very important to his players. “They will remember this for the rest of their lives,” Cavarzan said.
Morrison said the atmosphere in the building was incredible. “This was the best we’ve ever seen,” she said. “We really appreciate it. It got us pumped.”
A member of the Stoney Creek Junior Sabres, Morrison said winning a high school championship is different from the club level where age restrictions apply. “It means everything to us,” she said of the HWCAA title. “In high school, you play for a common spirit, or goal. We wanted to win for ourselves and for the school — all the girls before us.
“There are different ages of players in high school. You’re kind of thrown together. You’ve got to make it work. When all of a sudden everything clicks, it feels good.”
Tonnos advanced to the Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference final on Monday against the Loyola Hawks, but were denied a berth at OFSAA after losing 3-0.