KELLY HAS HAT TRICK; ICE CATS HAVE FIRST WIN
Weyburn, Sask. – Nicole Kelly (Brantford, Ont.) had a natural hat trick as part of a four-point night to lead the Brantford Ice Cats past the Weyburn Gold Wings and to their first win at the 2016 Esso Cup.
Kayla Bailey (Cambridge, Ont.) had the other Ice Cats goal. Taylor Trussler (Kitchener, Ont.) and Brooklyn Gemmill (Cambridge, Ont.) added assists.
Emma Verbruggen (Ancaster, Ont.) made 26 saves for Brantford.
Jenna Grube (Estevan, Sask.) led the way for the Gold Wings, with a goal and an assist. Maeve McGauley (Wilcox, Sask.) also scored for Weyburn.
Chantal Burke (Saskatoon, Sask.) stopped 32 of 36 shots in the loss.
Both teams lost their openers, and while Day 2 may seem too early to deem a game must-win, time is only on your side for so long in a week-long tournament.
Weyburn scored the only goal of the first. Grube threw the puck out front, where McGauley gently redirected it five-hole.
The Gold Wings doubled their lead only 27 seconds into the second period. Madison Solie (Sedley, Sask.) sent an outlet pass off the boards to Grube, who strode in and beat Verbruggen.
Brantford got one back five minutes later, with Bailey beating Burke clean with a wrist shot from the face-off circle.
At 11:52, a great individual effort by Kelly brought her team even. After fighting through her defender to get a shot off, she followed through and put in her own rebound.
Off a face-off early in the third period, Kelly went far side from the bottom of the face-off circle, giving the Ice Cats their first lead of the game.
She completed the natural hat trick by being persistent on a rebound at the top of the crease.
Now with one win and one loss, Brantford takes on Metro Boston Pizza, also 1-1, Tuesday afternoon (3:30 p.m. MT). Weyburn will go for its first win of the 2016 Esso Cup in the game that follows, against the Express du Richelieu (7 p.m. MT).