Durham West puts Pickering-Ajax on map winning Quebec peewee tournament’s first all-girls division

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Published March 1, 2023 at 2:08 pm

Photo La Nouvelliste

The list of players who have competed at the Quebec Peewee International hockey tournament is long and littered with Hall of Fame members, such as Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Guy Lafleur, along with current stars Connor McDavid, Austin Matthews, and William Nylander.

It’s the biggest and most prestigious minor hockey competition in the world. And now you can add the players from the Durham West Lightning U13AA girls hockey squad to that hallowed list after the team made hockey history Sunday.

The Lightning, made up primarily from players from Pickering and Ajax, capped a perfect 5-0 tournament with a 3-1 victory over the Atlantic Girls Select program in the final; the first time in the tournament’s 63-year history girls were invited.

The 12-team all-girls division was made up of clubs from Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, the USA, England, France and Switzerland.

Durham West, coached by Bob Hunt, made short work of the Suisse Romande Chouettes in the opener of the 11-day competition, winning 8-0, followed by wins over Sefha Fury (3-1), Connecticut Junior Rangers (2-0) and Quebec AS (3-1) before their triumph over the girls from the Atlantic Selects.

The Atlantic team is an all-star squad representing 21 organizations in the U.S. mid-Atlantic from Maine to Maryland.

Chloe Sandford opened the scoring in the first period of Sunday’s final and Ivy Morrissey, who led the club in tournament scoring with seven points, made it 2-0 midway through the third. After Atlantic pulled within one less than a minute later Jacqueline Kean scored the insurance goal to help Durham West put its name in the hockey history books.

The feat that didn’t go unnoticed on social media with plenty of hockey fans chiming in on the accomplishment.

  • “To be invited as the only Ontario team and to win is a huge accomplishment. Way to go coach Bob Hunt, coaching staff and all the players. HISTORIC to say the least.” – John
  • “Way to go girls! Awesome.” – Pam
  • “Great job ladies!” – Kevin
  • “Congratulations on the win! So happy to see another mark in history for women’s hockey and that it was Durham West doing it!” – Leslie

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