Weekend Buzz | Three Burlington Girls Are National Hockey Champs
The Ponytail Line started playing together in the Burlington Youth Hockey program
A few weeks ago, I promised you a feel-good local story. This week I was able to gather and organize all the information, and I’m excited to share the story with you. Enjoy!
Three girls from Burlington have just become national hockey champions.
Kate Glantz, Janie Martin, and Caitlyn “CJ” Tremblay reached the pinnacle of sports achievement in April when their team, the North Shore Vipers, won the U14 Tier II National Hockey Championship in West Chester, PA, on April 4.
The girls have been playing together since 2015, when at the ages of six and seven they joined the Burlington Youth Hockey Program’s Mite C team headed by Coach Mike Pandolfo. Though hockey is often seen as a sport dominated by boys and men, the girls were welcomed on the ice and treated as equals with their teammates. According to Kate’s mom, Lorie Glantz, “Mike helped them to become the best hockey players they could be - not the best girl hockey players.”
The girls, nicknamed the Ponytail Line, spent two years playing on the coed team before branching off into single-gender hockey. Since then, not only have they stuck together as teammates, but they’ve become incredibly close off the ice as well.
The Vipers’ start at Nationals wasn’t promising. They lost in a shutout to their biggest rivals, the East Coast Wizards from neighboring Bedford - an especially painful loss since the Vipers had beaten them just days before. Game two came closer to victory for the Vipers, with a 2-2 tie at the end of regulation play and overtime. Ultimately, though, the Vipers lost to the Mid Fairfield Stars in a shootout.
With Games 3 and 4, the tide began to turn, with the Vipers securing handy victories against the Seattle Snowkings (3-0) and the Michigan Honeybaked (4-1).
Game 5 pitted the Vipers against their rivals, the Wizards, once more. After their disappointment in Game 1, and bolstered by their wins against Seattle and Michigan, the Vipers beat the Wizards in regulation, 2-1.
Then came the championship game, and the Vipers were set to play the Arizona Kachinas. After the first period, neither team had scored. Fans were at the edge of their seats when, in Period 2, the Vipers scored their first goal. It looked like the Vipers might take away the victory, until the Kachinas scored in the third period. At the end of regulation, the teams were tied.
No scores were made during the overtime, and a shootout ensued. In the end, the Vipers did take the W after a successful shootout showing.
“These girls refused to quit on each other,” said Glantz, recalling the high emotions of the victory. “They dug deep and when it mattered most they banded together and pulled out the wins when it counted.” Apropos, Glantz says, for a tournament occurring just miles from where the famous Rocky movies were filmed.
Kate, CJ, and Janie are all multi-sport athletes with various accolades under their belts. Kate also plays for the Wade Warriors East hockey team, which recently won the elite Shattuck St. Mary's Showdown in Faribault, MN. While they all attend different schools, and are in three different grades, the bond these girls has developed is strong and Ms. Glantz sees it continuing long into the future.