PAIR FROM MCCALLUM LIFTS RAIDERS TO WIN
Weyburn, Sask. – Hailey McCallum (Strathmore, Alta.) scored two goals 2:10 apart early in the second period to lift the Rocky Mountain Raiders over the Brantford Ice Cats in a matchup of Esso Cup rookies.
With the ice still wet, McCallum took advantage of a fortuitous bounce off the end boards. Paige Russell’s (Strathmore, Alta.) shot on a two-on-one went wide, but came out front to an open McCallum, who tucked the puck in far side.
The forward then drove through the slot and sent a wrist shot short side from the face-off circle.
Hannah Matchett (Nanton, Alta.) and Ava Thiessen (DeWinton, Alta.) also picked up helpers in the win.
Kate Lloyd (Chestermere, Alta.) made 31 saves for the Raiders.
Chenelle Caron-Godon (Brantford, Ont.) had the lone goal for the Ice Cats. Emma Verbruggen (Ancaster, Ont.) stopped 22 of 24 shots in taking the loss.
In a game that was fast and fun from the opening puck drop, it was the Ice Cats creating noise early, with Paige Cohoon (St. George, Ont.) ringing one off the crossbar only six minutes in.
Rocky Mountain took momentum early in the second period, thanks to McCallum’s pair of goals, but the Ice Cats proved resilient. Less than two minutes after her team fell behind by two goals, Taylor Trussler (Kitchener, Ont.) broke in alone, shooting just wide.
Brantford continued to press. Avery Kettlewell (Brantford, Ont.) found Caron-Gadon alone at the side of the net, where she converted on a second effort.
Trussler nearly tied things shorthanded with just over two minutes to go in the third period. The speedy forward broke in behind the defence, but couldn’t bury her rebound into an open net.
Already on a power play, the Ice Cats pulled Verbruggen late in regulation but couldn’t find the equalizer.
The Raiders look to make it two in a row when they meet Metro Boston Pizza in Monday’s first game (12 p.m. MT). Brantford will try for its first win, against the host Weyburn Gold Wings, in the evening (7 p.m. MT).