Sue-Ellen McInnis and her Canada East teammates finished with a bang, scoring five second-half goals to win the world under-19 ringette championships.
It was the country’s first gold medal at the tournament in a decade. The game was tied 1-1 at the half, but McInnis said the team wasn’t worried.
“Everyone was just so pumped up. You could feel the energy in the air,” she told The Guardian
“We all knew we were the better team and we could do this.”
They scored two third quarter goals and three more before Finland scored a late marker, but it wasn’t enough. Canada East won 6-2 Thursday in London, Ont.
The final few moments were filled with anticipation for the 18-year-old McInnis.
“It was an amazing feeling because you knew what was coming,” the Sherwood native said.
“The last minute of the game was so exciting. (People) jumping all over the place, we couldn’t wait” for the game to end.
The fourth quarter goals helped build the excitement.
“It was just like a little security blanket,” McInnis said.
“You knew the girls were fired up and it was just going to continue rolling from there.”
McInnis has been playing ringette for 13 years and suiting up internationally was something she had thought about as she progressed in the sport.
“I use to dream about doing that,” she said. “It was cool to finally be there. It was like a dream come true.”
The forward had one assist in the tournament. Canada East had a 3-0-2 record in preliminary play before beating Russia 8-4 in semifinal action.
“I use to dream about doing that. It was cool to finally be there. It was like a dream come true.” - Sue-Ellen McInnis
The squad had three training camps to prepare for the world championship and McInnis said they allowed the team to become a close team. She said that was one of the reasons it persevered.
“We all got along so well. You could see, on the ice, the chemistry and everybody wanted it so bad,” she said. “I think it could have been a different story if we didn’t have done those training camps.”
The Finns have held onto the world title for 10 years. Some of the Canada East coaching staff was on the wining team in 2002, making it a special moment for all involved.
“It gives me shivers still just thinking about it, finally taking home the gold,” McInnis said. “We wanted to win it for each other.”
There hasn’t been much down time since the victory. McInnis played with Nova Scotia at a tournament in Cambridge, Ont., during the weekend. They lost 6-3 in the final to a team from St. Clements, Ont.
She returned home Monday at 2 a.m. and was en route back to Halifax in the afternoon. She is a first-year engineering student at Dalhousie University.
McInnis will continue playing with the Nova Scotia under-19 team and will be playing with them at the Atlantics in February in Moncton, N.B. and nationals in April in Fredericton.