By Larry Moko
The Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School girls’ hockey program continues to produce skilled offensive-minded defencemen.
First it was Laura Fortino who, upon graduation, landed a scholarship at Cornell University where she enjoyed a brilliant career with the Big Red. At the Ithaca, N.Y. school she led all NCAA defencemen in scoring during the 2009-10 season.
Since then, of course, Fortino has been a key member of Canada’s national women’s hockey team. Remember her assist on the gold-medal winning goal in overtime at the Sochi Olympics of 2014?
Perhaps the next Fortino is Bishop Tonnos defenceman Paige Kenyon. She’s a 17-year-old four-year veteran who turned in a solid performance to help the Titans defeat the St. Thomas More Knights, 3-2, in Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic league action Tuesday.
It was Tonnos’s opening game of the season, while More dropped to 0-2.
“She (Kenyon) is strong on the puck and moves it well,” More coach Trevor Young said. “She’s a challenge for us to play against.”
Tonnos coach Dino Cavarzan also points out that Kenyon “sees the ice very well” and has a great shot.
“Even under pressure in our end she stays calm,” he said. “She’s just an all-around skilled player. We like our defence jumping up on the play. They are smart. They know when to go and when to stay.”
Kenyon, like Fortino, also plans on playing university hockey on scholarship in the United States.
“I’m committed to Cornell,” Kenyon said. “I’m really excited. I’m working on getting my (educational) scores so I can apply for acceptance in January. I would go next year.”
Laura Fortino’s father, Ignazio has been an assistant coach at Tonnos for many years. Laura, too, has been behind the Titans bench on occasion. Said Kenyon: “Since I committed to Cornell (two years ago) I’ve helped with the camp Laura ran in the summer.”
The Tonnos captain, Kenyon also plays for the Stoney Creek Junior Sabres of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League.
“Last year was the first time we didn’t win city’s in a long time,” Kenyon said of the Titans. “Hopefully this year we’ll make it to OFSAA again.”
After a scoreless first period, the Titans struck for three unanswered second-period goals against the visiting Knights. In the third, however, More replied with markers by Emily Coady and Sofia Domanico.
“I’m happy we rallied back and scored a couple of goals,” Young said. “We started playing a lot better in the third period.”
The Knights have finished on top of the league standings for the past two seasons only to come up short in the playoffs.
“We returned a bunch of players from our past couple of years,” Young said. “We should be pretty strong. We’ve just got to get playing as a team again.”
Cavarzan said both teams had good scoring chances in a well-played evenly matched game.
Elsewhere, the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves defeated the defending-champion Bishop Ryan Celtics, 4-2.