Kelsey Shute will bring a medal home to Harbour Grace today, but it’s not the one she hoped for.
Kelsey Shute. — Photo by Kenn Oliver/The Telegram
The Avalon regional goaltender stopped all 19 shots faced in a 3-0 win over Labrador in the bronze medal game of the girls’ hockey competition.
A “tough loss” to Western in the round-robin’s final game Monday evening kept her and her team from the gold medal game.
“It was pretty disappointing,” Shute says of the 3-2 loss. “We were a bit short in the first and second but we came out strong in the third.”
Late in the third, with the score knotted at two apiece, Avalon received back-to-back minor penalties, and Western made good on their two-man advantage. Shute had made over 30 saves by this point, keeping her team in the game.
“That was hard luck,” says Avalon coach Jennifer Pollett. “I felt bad for all the players, even the girls who got the penalties.
“They skated so hard all game and to lose that way, it was hard. They were still talking about it today. Hopefully they’ll forget about it and remember what happened.”
Pollett says she reminded the girls it was a new day and theirs to take.
“Knowing we really wanted to be in the gold medal game, we wanted to come out today and prove we should have been there,” Shute says.
At just 14, Shute was one of the youngest players in the tournament. But with already 10 years spent between the pipes and plenty of experience against older opponents, she was unflappable in her three starts, even if two were loses.
“She works hard and she’s very dedicated and very focused,” Pollett says. “That’s one thing all coaches want, focus.
“She stands on her head every time she’s on that ice.”
Shute hopes to go as far as she can in goaltending down the road, but already has one goal in mind for next season, earning a spot on the provincial girls’ team headed to the Canada Winter Games in Prince George, B.C. next winter.