STARS BLANK CANADETTES TO OPEN ESSO CUP
JASON LA ROSE
BRIDGEWATER, N.S. – Joelle Fiala scored once and added an assist, and 12 different players recorded at least a point to help the Saskatoon Stars to a 5-0 win over the Brampton Canadettes in the opening game Sunday at the 2018 Esso Cup.
It’s the second time Saskatoon has blanked its first opponent at Canada’s National Female Midget Championship; it kept the Weyburn Gold Wings without a goal in its 2016 curtain-raiser.
Jordan Ivanco needed to make just 12 saves to record the shutout for the Stars, who held Brampton to the second-lowest shot total in tournament history.
Saskatoon made good on an early power play for all the offence it would need; after carrying the puck deep, circling the net and playing a quick game of give-and-go with Mackenna Parker, Grace Shirley beat Hannah Szczepanowski for the 1-0 goal just 5:10 in.
Both teams struggled to find their offensive footing in the opening 20 minutes, combining for just six shots (4-2 in favour of the Stars).
The Stars hit their stride in the second period, outshooting Brampton 15-4 and striking twice in just over three minutes to put the game out of reach. Calli Arnold was first, shovelling in a loose puck at the side of the net at 10:21, before Fiala powered her way to the net and went five-hole to make it 3-0.
Kaitlin Jockims cleaned up a rebound in front of Szczepanowski just past the six-minute mark of the third period, and Kianna Dietz danced her way through the Brampton defence to finish the scoring with just over five minutes to go.
It’s the fourth time in five years the Ontario champion has lost its opening game at Canada’s National Female Midget Championship, although each of the previous three has ended up winning a medal.
Saskatoon is back in action in the opening game Monday, taking on the Pionnieres de Lanaudiere (12 p.m. AT), while Brampton will face the Northern Selects in the second game of the day (3:30 p.m. AT).