9:30 a.m., March 26)
Gloucester-Cumberland ringette team wins championship
for teammate diagnosed with leukemia
By Fred Sherwin
the Gloucester Cumberland Devils U14 peewee team needed
any extra inspiration to win the provincial AA championship
they didn’t have to look any further than their own dressing
room and teammate Emma Flynn- Mantyla.
Flynn-Mantyla (right) and her sister Tia hold
up the championship trophy after the Devils
won the provincial AA championship on March
11. FACEBOOK PHOTO
13-year-old was diagnosed with leuke- mia on February
21 and had to start treatment immediately which meant
she had to sit out the provincial championships which
took place in Ottawa from March 8-11.
their teammate providing extra inspriation, the Devils
opened the tournament with a 7-2 win over the Nepean Ravens.
Taylor Forrest scored a hat trick for the winning side
and Emma’s sister Tia was credited with an assist on the
team’s sixth goal.
suffering a 4-3 loss to the Ottawa Ice, the Devils reeled
off four straight wins to earn a spot in the playoffs
as the third seed. They upset the second place team from
Guelph 10-3 in their semi-final thanks in large part to
Forrest’s second hat trick of the tournament. Maya Howard
and Kyra Sullivan added two goals each in the game, while
Julia Wilson, Katie Bray, and Maya Valasquez scored a
the other semi-final, the fourth place team from Waterloo
upset the top seed from Central Whitby 4-3 in overtime
to earn a date with the Devils in the final.
the championship game, Waterloo scored the only goal of
the first period to take a 1-0 lead into the half-time
penalty assessed against Waterloo with just 18 seconds
left in the opening period meant that the Devils would
start the second session with the man advantage. It took
just 40 seconds for Howard to tie the game on a goal that
was set up by Sullivan and Camille Desmarais.
score remained knotted at 1-1 until the later stages of
the game when the floodgates swung wide open for the Devils.
scored her second of the game on a pass from Sullivan
with just under four minutes left. Thirty-nine seconds
after that, Forrest scored to give the Devils a 3-1 lead,
and then Howard put the cherry on top with her third of
the game 26 seconds later.
Flynn-Mantyla (centre) joins her Gloucester
Cumberland teammates on the ice after they
won the provincial championship. Photo courtesy
of Pete Sullivan
watched the entire game from the stands wearing her Devils
the final buzzer sounded, she was allowed on the ice in
a wheelchair and wearing a helmet for safety for that
she could join in the celebration and pose with her teammates
for the group picture.
head coach Dave Mainwood, who has been coaching ringette
for more than 40 years, it was an experience he won’t
40 years I’ve been lucky enough to have had some pretty
memorable moments including a couple of national championships,
but this one was definitely very special,” says Mainwood.
U14 Gloucester Cumberland Devils pose with
the provincial championship banner and trophy.
Photo courtesy of Johanne Gagnier
mother, Peggy Flynn, says there was no way her daughter
was going to miss the team’s championship run.
the family first found out that Emma had leukemia she
was actually playing in a game at Carleton University.
got the call from the doctor on a Saturday and the she
said, ‘You have to get to CHEO right now.’ And I said,
‘Well, she’s on the ice.’ And she said, ‘Pull her off
the ice.’ And I said ‘okay’ and then I let her play because
I didn’t want to panic her,” said Flynn. “So after the
game I took her to the hospital.”
was at the hospital receiving treatment on the first day
of the tournament.When the team won both of their games
on Day 2 she was in the stands.
really wanted to be there for the team and to support
them. It was hard for her to watch and not be able to
play, especially with her little sister playing, but it
was good because I think the team really rallied around
her and turned things around,” says Flynn. “She went to
every game after that.”
the final minutes ticked down in the championship final,
one of the parents got Emma a wheelchair and a helmet
so she could go on the ice and be with her teammates for
was bittersweet. We are so happy for the team and for
my other daughter, but it’s really difficult for Emma
not to play, especially now that they are going to the
Eastern Canadian Championships in Halifax. She really
wants to go but it’s difficult,” says Flynn.
initial prognosis for Emma’s illness is pretty good, says
Flynn. “It’s one of the more treatable types of leukemia
and they caught it very early.”
GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help offset any unforeseen
and unexpected expenses incurred by the family. Donations
can be made by visiting www.gofundme.com/Emma039s-fight-
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of
our local business partners.)