AGOSTA-MARCIANO'S TWO LATE-GAME GOALS LEAD CANADIANS
TO 4-3 SHOOTOUT WIN OVER MIDGET AAA RAIDERS IN ST. ALBERT
by Kristen Lipscombe
ST. ALBERT, Alta. – Team Canada fans in the stands Monday night at the Northstar Hyundai Arena were likely biting their nails in nervous anticipation as they watched the Midget AAA St. Alberta Raiders open scoring midway through the first, and add another early in the second to earn a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes of fast-placed play in front of a packed rink.
Fortunately, the fans cheering for red and white were able to breathe a sigh of relief when the puck dropped on the third period. After a sluggish first couple of periods, Canada's National Women's Team stepped onto the ice for another 20 minutes of play, this time with ice in their veins and fire under the skates, notching a quick three goals in less than five minutes.
The first marker came from Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) at the midway point of the period, with help from Haley Irwin (Thunder Bay, Ont./Montreal, CWHL) and Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont./Cornell University, ECAC) to narrow the gap to 2-1 on the scoreboard. But St. Albert's Jason Miller quickly replied with his second goal of the night about 15 seconds later, to widen the gap gain, this time to 3-1, but that would be the last time the Raiders would put one past Canadian netminder Charline Labonte for the remainder of the game.
Despite it only being her third game back with Team Canada following a lower body injury, Meghan Agosta-Marciano (Ruthven, Ont./Montreal, CWHL) came out into the third flying, proving why she's long been considered a power forward who knows how to generate points to get a game moving.
Her first goal of the game came right off the face-off, with a feed from Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL) giving Agosta-Marciano exactly what she needed to put the puck into the back of the Raiders net at just under 11 minutes into the third. And once the Canadians gained a power play chance, the feisty player simply couldn't be stopped, answering her own goal just three minutes later, with defencemen Tessa Bonhomme (Sudbury, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) and Lauriane Rougeau (Beaconsfield, Que./Cornell University, ECAC) putting the play together to get the puck back to Agosta-Marciano so she could again skillfully slip it over the St. Albert goal line to tie it up at three-apiece, sending into overtime.
Agosta-Marciano said her own objectives Monday night included getting back into the game mentally, and doing all "the little things right on the ice."
"I love playing with Caro (Caroline Ouellette) and Wick (Hayley Wickenheiser)," she said of how everything eventually clicked on the ice for Canada's National Women's Team, even if it took a couple of periods to get there.
Agosta-Marciano added the team discussed between periods the importance of putting more pucks on net going into the third, because "dirty goals" count just as much as the pretty plays do.
"When you don't shoot, you can't score," she said after the game, paraphrasing Canadian hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. "Once we got one in, that led to another, and everything came together."
But then there was overtime, with neither side able to put the puck past the opposition's netminder during the five minutes of four-on-four play. And that was followed by a shootout, that once again had the loud and boisterous crowd anxiously sitting on the edges of their seats, as they watched the action unfold shot by shot on the ice below.
The exciting on-ice affair ended in Team Canada's favour, however, with hometown girl Meaghan Mikkelson (St. Albert, Alta./Calgary, CWHL) scoring the first shootout goal in front of her thrilled family, friends and fans, while Iwin was able to add another to cap off an exciting 4-3 shootout win for an incredible Canadian comeback story.
"When it comes to a shootout, anything can happen," Agosta-Marciano noted. "It just so happens that we came out on top."
Canada's National Women's Team next faces off against the Midget AAA Edmonton Knights of Columbus Pats at 8:15 p.m. MT this this Wednesday, Oct. 15 at Bill Hunter Arena in Edmonton, Alta. It will be the ninth game of Canada's National Women's Team Midget Series, an important exhibition schedule that is helping the red and white prepare for competition at Sochi 2014.
Follow all the NWT action from the arena this season at www.twitter.com/hc_women, www.facebook.com/hockeycanada and on Hockey Canada's official website at www.hockeycanada.ca/nwt.
|Game Information/Renseignements sur le match|
|Game #/Match no
|Arena/Aréna||Northstar Hyundai Arena
||Location/Lieu||St. Albert, Alta.
|Date||Monday, October 28, 2013
|Goals & Penalties/Buts et pénalités|
|First Period/Première période|
12:55 STA Jason Miller (Ethan Lazaro)
16:01 CAN Jennifer Wakefield (Body-checking/Mise en échec corporelle)
|Second Period/Deuxième période|
05:09 STA Nicholas Sutter (PP/AN)
03:51 CAN Lauriane Rougeau (Tripping/Faire trébucher)
11:56 STA Matthew McNeil (Body-checking/Mise en échec corporelle)
|Third Period/Troisième période|
09:42 CAN Rebecca Johnston (Hailey Irwin, Brianne Jenner)
09:57 STA Jason Miller (Ethan Lazaro, Kole Bryks)
10:47 CAN Meghan-Agosta Marciano (Caroline Ouellette)
13:48 CAN Meghan-Agosta Marciano (Tessa Bonhomme, Lauriane Rougeau) PP/AN
05:23 STA Brendan Kallis (Cross-checking/Double-échec)
12:15 STA Ethan Lazaro (Cross-checking/Double-échec)
13:31 STA Kole Bryks (Delay of game/Retarder le match)
02:21 STA Harrison Klein (Holding/Retenir)
04:23 STA Kole Bryks
|Shootout/Tirs de barrage|
|STA (No Goal/Aucun but)
CAN Vicki Bendus (No Goal/Aucun but)
CAN Meaghan Mikkelson (Goal/But)
STA (No Goal/Aucun but)
CAN Haley Irwin (Goal/But)
|Goaltenders/Gardiens de but|
|CAN||Patrick Gora; Patrick Dea (10:30 in 2nd)|
|Shots on Goal/Tirs au but||1||2||3||OT/P||Total|