Newfoundland/Labrador -3 Manitoba -5
By Dwight Anderson
Manitoba faced Newfoundland & Labrador in their final game of round robin play. Manitoba had a decisive 7-1 win over NL at last year’s Nationals in a penalty filled affair.
NL started the first period pressuring Manitoba. It took Manitoba 6 minutes to get a shot on goal. The NL line of Eustace, Pollett and Shears dominated the play but Manitoba goaltender Sherry Beard was up for the task, shutting down the NL offense.
Manitoba picked up the pace mid way into the first period and it paid off 12 minutes into the first period. Cassandra Thiem fired a shot from the blue line. Lauren MacMillan redirected the puck behind the NL goaltender (Quigley) for a 1-0 lead.
NL carried the play in the first half of the second period. Manitoba got into penalty trouble but Sherry Beard was phenomenal between the pipes. Margot Doucet won a scrum in the corner and made a crisp pass to Meghan Frizzell in the slot who found the back of the net. Two minutes later, Joanne Eustace made the perfect pass to Thistle and she broke through the Manitoba defense; slipping the puck five hole for a 2-1 NL lead.
Manitoba came out on fire early into the third period with a power play opportunity. Shelley Cockerill fired a shot from the blue line. Quigley made the save but Lisa Chin was on the doorstep to knock in the rebound tying the game.
NL was in the penalty box a minute later. The Manitoba power play was working its magic. Faith Macdonald ripped a shot from the blue line. Ashley Van Aggelan made a nifty move in the slot to redirect the puck into the NL net for a 3-2 lead.
Joanne Eustace pick the puck out of a scramble in the Manitoba zone with 8 minutes to play. Eustace dipsy-doodled out into the slot, making a quick shot to pick the corner, dead locking the game at 3 apiece.
The rest of the period was a nail biter but Shelley Cockerill broke in alone picking the top corner with 53 seconds to play.
Shelley Cockerill was awarded Player of the Game for Manitoba for her hustle and smarts while Victoria Thistle got the honors for NL.
Manitoba goes on to play Nova Scotia Saturday. NL will face off against PEI.
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