Facing an upbeat Manitoba team and its rabid fans, Ontario responded with a decisive victory.
Brianne Jenner of St. Catharines, Ont., scored twice as Ontario downed Manitoba 6-3 Saturday in Whitehorse to win its fourth consecutive Canada Games women's hockey title.
Rebecca Johnston of Sudbury and Catherine White of Brampton each had a goal and two assists while Jennifer Wakefield of Pickering and Mallory Deluce of London also scored for Ontario. The four-time champions finished the tournament undefeated while outscoring opponents 53-4 in the process.
"Everyone was so full of emotion,"Johnston said."Right when the buzzer went, I was so thrilled. It was an awesome experience."
Samantha Wauer of Oakbank, Man., Kylie Klassen of Winkler and Bailey Bram of Ste. Anne countered for Manitoba, which matched the result posted by the men's team last week. Manitoba hockey teams had never finished higher than third at any Canada Games, and Saturday's silver medal was the first podium finish for a Manitoba women's team.
Despite feeding off a large and loud contingent of fans and fellow athletes, Manitoba was clearly overmatched by an Ontario team picked as the runaway gold-medal favourite prior to the Games.
"It's going to give us memories that we'll all remember forever," saidKlassen. "It'll be something to cherish."
Ontario reached the final by beating Quebec 3-1 in Friday's semifinal, while Manitoba advanced with a thrilling 1-0 overtime win over Saskatchewan.
Ontario broke the game open with three goals in a 3:08 span midway through the second period. Jenner gave the Ontario team a 2-1 lead at 10:02, walking in from the left circle and wristing a tough-angle shot high past Manitoba netminder Delayne Brian.
Jennifer Wakefield expanded Ontario's lead 46 seconds later with her tournament-leading 11th goal, redirecting a Kelly Sabatine pass between Brian's legs to complete a nifty three-way passing play.
Jenner made it 4-1 at 13:10, splitting both Manitoba defenders before sliding a backhander past Brian.
Klassen cut into the lead at 9:18 of the third, but Deluce replied for Ontario 1:19 later and White extended the lead to 6-2 at 15:05. Bram rounded out the scoring at 16:27.
Manitoba gave its fans plenty to cheer about early on, opening the scoring at 15:18 of the first. Saleah Morrison hit a wide-open Wauer with a pass, and the five-foot-11 defenceman slapped the puck over the left shoulder of Ontario netminder Jaime Miller.
That goal seemed to wake a lethargic Ontario team, and the defending champions answered 41 seconds later. Johnston, who finished second in tournament scoring with eight goals, pounced on a loose puck and lifted a backhander past Brian on the glove side.