SEPER SCORES TWO TO LEAD RAIDERS TO WIN
Weyburn, Sask. – Captain Nicolette Seper (Cochrane, Alta.) scored twice as the Rocky Mountain Raiders defeated the Express du Richelieu 3-2 and climbed into a tie atop the 2016 Esso Cup standings.
Rebecca Toney (Chestermere, Alta.) also scored for the Raiders, who now join the Brantford Ice Cats at 3-1.
Kate Lloyd (Chestermere, Alta.) made 29 saves for her second win of the week.
Joannie Garand (Otterburn Park, Que.) and Éloïse Dubé (St-Hyacinthe, Que.) scored for Richelieu, while Carolanne Franc-Brown (McMasterville, Que.) stopped 23 shots.
After a scoreless opening period that saw Richelieu outshoot Rocky Mountain 11-9, the Express pushed the pace in the second.
But despite being on its heels for most of the first half of the middle period, Rocky Mountain got on the board first. During a goalmouth scramble, Toney poked the puck five-hole on Franc-Brown.
After that the goals came quickly.
Garand tied the game at 14:26. She picked up the puck just above the goal line, took a few strides and went top shelf short side.
Only 19 seconds later Seper outworked a defender up the wing and easily poked the puck five-hole on Franc-Brown, who didn’t appear ready to contest the shot.
Four minutes later the game was tied again. Dubé batted down a clearing attempt near the side boards, skated in and let fly a shot from the middle of the face-off circle.
Seven minutes into the third period, Seper intercepted a pass near the blue line, skated cross ice and beat the goalie blocker side for what proved to be the game-winning goal.
Rocky Mountain did a good job of closing out the win in the dying minutes, working the puck around the offensive zone and maintaining valuable puck possession, while still creating quality scoring chances.
Any thoughts the Express had about pulling Franc-Brown for an extra attacker at the end were extinguished with a body checking call on Camille Fleury (Ste-Julie, Que.) with only 1:30 remaining in regulation.