Red Deer’s Breanna Beck won gold at the National Ringette League Championships on Saturday in P.E.I. (Photo by Chad Breslin)

Red Deer’s Breanna Beck wins national ringette gold

Call it a lesson well learned for Red Deer’s Breanna Beck.

A year removed from heartbreak at the National Ringette League Championships, Beck tasted the sweet spoils of victory on the weekend in P.E.I.

Last year, Beck was playing goalie for the Edmonton WAM! when they lost 5-3 to the Atlantic Attack in the national title game.

This time around, now between the pipes for the Calgary RATH, she exacted revenge. Beck turned aside 53 shots in the gold medal game against the attack and hoisted the national championship trophy. The score? 5-3, once again.

“Winning this year, after losing last year is extra special. Different teams and different jersey colours, but I lost to the same team, by the same score that we won,” Beck said in a phone interview Wednesday.

“I think that made it more special and you appreciated that moment more. Because you’ve been on that losing side. I think the team I won with, has to be the best thing. Those girls are incredible.”

Beck was also part of the RATH group that won a national title in Fredericton, N.B. in 2013, only as the backup goalie.

“This is my first win being between the pipes, in all the chaos,” noted Beck.

In the final, it was anything but smooth sailing against the defending champion and the Red Deer product needed to make 18 saves in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory. She said there was a calm about the group even before the ring was dropped in the final Saturday and it carried throughout the game.

“We beat them in round robin, but they scored six goals in the second half. They have a very potent offence. We knew we had to come out and focus on team defence. It was pretty evident we did. We went up 5-1 and 5-3 at the end wasn’t bad,” Beck said.

“They had 19 shots in the fourth quarter and we only had three. We spent a lot of time in our defensive end…I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in a squat so long… the last 30 seconds, I swear they stopped the clock. It was the longest 30 seconds I remember.”

She added that the group really started to come together as the tournament went on and were galvanized by a big win over Waterloo and a mini-game victory that ended up in overtime that put them into the semi-final.

“We lost Friday morning to Cambridge… we played a mini-game, it was only supposed to be 10 minutes. It went into two overtimes. Finally, we scored and won 1-0. Had two and a half hours before the semi-final,” Beck said.

In the semis, they topped the Cambridge Turbos 4-2 to book a spot in the final. It was essentially their third game of the day.

Beck finished with the best goals-against average of goalies with five or more starts at the championship with a 3.53 mark. Along with a .906 save percentage, she also earned a second-team all-star nod for her efforts.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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