Georgian College reclaimed its Frost Cup glory Thursday, shutting out Lakehead University 3-0 in the sixth annual tilt at Rotary Place.
The two women’s hockey teams faced off in their first game of the year, which also signalled the launch of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign at the Orillia campuses.
After a scoreless first period, the Georgian Grizzlies got on the board almost halfway through the second when Celine Tessier put one past Lakehead Thunderwolves goalie Jordan Bolzon.
It remained a 1-0 game until Lacy Shuttleworth found the five-hole early in the third.
With less than two minutes to go in the final period, the Thunderwolves pulled their goalie and Megan Mizuyabu put one in the open net, securing the Frost Cup for Georgian after the team lost to Lakehead 1-0 last year in a shootout.
“They did really well, especially considering it was the first time on the ice for them this year,” said Grizzlies coach Sterling Ivany. “They were solid at both ends of the ice.”
With Georgian heading into a tournament Friday in Linsday, the team’s Frost Cup performance was “a good omen,” Ivany said.
Theresa “T-Bird” Prisciak, who coaches the Thunderwolves with Chris Jiggins, had praise for both teams, but their netminders in particular.
“Both goalies played outstanding. Our goalie kept the game close for us,” she said of Bolzon, who stopped 20 of the 23 shots she faced, while Grizzlies goaltender Katelyn Ridout turned away all 16 that came her way.
While “winning is always nice,” Prisciak noted the Frost Cup is “not about points; it’s about having fun.”
It’s also about raising awareness around mental health.
“Our players are ambassadors of the school and they do a lot to put the Bell Let’s Talk message out there and reduce the stigma,” she said.
It makes sense to have student athletes waving that flag, Ivany said.
“Mental health is huge, especially among the student population with them having to balance school work and jobs,” he said. “Women’s hockey has been a big part of that since Day 1.”
Dennis Chamberlain, an Orillia Special Olympics athlete, performed the ceremonial puck drop to start Thursday's game. Chamberlain is being sponsored by Lakehead to attend the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games next month in Thunder Bay, where he will compete in bowling.