Quebec’s ringette team grabbed Canada Winter Games gold in a thrilling 4-3 overtime win over Ontario at Servus Arena on Friday night.
Julie Vandal scored on a power play at 10:45 of the 13-minute overtime period, drawing a huge cheer from an enthusiastic crowd of 1,150.
It was the second goal of the game for the tournament’s top scorer – she finished with 11 goals and 13 assists.
“It was a dream come true,” said Vandal, a 19-year-old from Gatineau. “All the girls worked hard for this. We waited so long for that gold medal and we won it as a team.”
The intensity of the game was obvious from the start.
“The final was physical. The two teams worked hard. We got hurt a lot but at the end it was worth it.”
Quebec head coach David Singh was not surprised at how close a contest it was, adding the country’s top teams are very closely matched.
“Getting into overtime like that, it’s like flipping a coin,” he said.
“The girls played really well and were able to buy into what we wanted to do today and they performed well and they came out with a win.
“I’m a happy guy right now,” he grinned.
Also scoring for Quebec were Chloé Marcoux and Isabella Larocque.
Ontario head coach Carrie Hartley said they knew Quebec was going to come out strong and Ontario would have to match that.
And they did.
The two teams traded goals all game with both goalies making huge saves. Quebec outshot Ontario 47-28.
“We knew it was going to come down to one goal,” said Hartley.
Hartley said she told her team after the game it is OK to embrace the disappointment but also pride themselves on what they accomplished this week.
“They played a hard-fought game from start to finish.”
Quebec got the break it needed in overtime when Ontario took a body contact penalty at 11:31, setting the stage for Vandal’s heroics.