Ron MacLean hails Taylor Catcher as Falcons sweep Challenge Cup
Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean labelled Yellowknife’s Taylor Catcher a “phenom” as she scored four goals and helped Sir John Franklin High School to a Challenge Cup sweep.
Catcher led Sir John’s girls to a dramatic 5-4 victory over rivals St Pat’s on Friday. The boys’ game was not such a close affair, finishing in a 4-0 win for Sir John.
It’s the first time the Falcons have won both Wade Hamer Challenge Cup games in the same year since 2012. St Pat’s did the double in 2015 and 2016.
The cup has been contested annually between the two Yellowknife high schools since 1985.
“It feels great,” said Catcher, who played for Team NT at last year’s Canada Games, after her four-goal trophy-winning haul.
“We haven’t won in three or four years and this win, this year? I just loved it,” she told Cabin Radio.
“I got an adrenaline rush and I was gone. There was no stopping for me. I wasn’t going to give up until the buzzer rang.”
Speaking during Cabin Radio’s live broadcast of the game, MacLean – in town for Hockey Day in Canada celebrations hosted by CBC and Sportsnet – had high praise for Catcher.
“Obviously, Sir John has a little bit of an edge with Taylor Catcher,” MacLean told Cabin Radio’s Jesse Wheeler and Scott Letkeman.
MacLean said Catcher’s number 18 reminded him of another athlete sharing the same jersey – Catherine Ward, the Montreal CWHL player who won back-to-back Olympic gold medals with Team Canada in 2010 and 2014.
Rob Hart, coach of the defeated St Pat’s girls, praised the standard of the contest.
“It was one of those ones where … a game can go either way, no matter what the talent is like,” said Hart.
“It was two great teams, 4-4 late in the game … I’m so proud of the girls and their effort for the whole game.”