POWER PLAY POWERS SUDBURY TO WIN
by Wendy Graves
STONEY CREEK, Ont. – Power play goals from Karli Shell (Lively, Ont.) and Jenna Gough (Capreol, Ont.) four minutes apart in the second proved to be the difference in the Sudbury Lady Wolves 3-2 win over the Edmonton Thunder in Esso Cup action Wednesday afternoon.
Melisa Kingsley (Sudbury, Ont.) had the other Sudbury goal. Nine different Lady Wolves contributed to the team’s three goals, as the team moved to 3-1.
Amy Boucher (Edmonton, Alta.) and Alexandra Poznikoff (Edmonton, Alta.) led the Thunder with a goal and an assist apiece. Edmonton dropped to 1-3 with the loss.
The Thunder had to be considered one of the favourites coming in. The roster was full of not only veteran experience, but specifically Esso Cup experience. Eleven players won bronze in Burnaby, B.C., at last year’s event.
But the team hasn’t been able to get on track this time around. It took a goal in the 55th minute to win its opener 1-0 over the Fraser Valley Phantom, and it fell behind early in its losses to the Weyburn Gold Wings and Moncton Rockets.
And it didn’t take long for the Thunder to put itself in a hole this time, either. Just 70 seconds in, the puck found its way into the right face-off circle, where Kingsley spun and put a forehand behind Tracie Kikuchi (Edmonton, Alta.).
Edmonton pulled even as the clock wound down on the period. With Meagan McGaughey (Sudbury, Ont.) off for tripping, the Thunder power play was able to assert itself in the offensive zone. Ten seconds of sustained pressure just a few feet outside the goal crease saw Boucher hit the post, several great saves by Stephanie Pascal (Val Caron, Ont.) and finally, Boucher finding the back of the net with a quick flick.
In the second, it was the Thunder getting the early jump. A minute and a half in, Poznikoff let a wrist shot fly from the right hash mark while falling away and to her knees.
The equalizer came on the power play at the 9:14 mark of the period. Kikuchi had slid the puck to her left to keep the play alive, instead of holding for a face-off. Ten seconds later Shell was tapping the puck in at the side of the net.
“I always crash the net for the rebound and kind of stay backdoor so (the defence) doesn’t see me,” said Shell. “I had a wide open net.”
Gough got what proved to be the game-winner on the power play four minutes later when she finished a tic-tac-toe passing play with Marley Patterson (Garson, Ont.) and Megan Burt (Sudbury, Ont.).