MACLEAN SCORES LATE WINNER, LEADS SELECTS PAST HOSTS
JASON LA ROSE
BRIDGEWATER, N.S. – Kara MacLean got her second goal of the game with 4:25 left, sending the Northern Selects to a 3-1 win over Metro Boston Pizza to finish the opening day of preliminary-round play Sunday at the 2018 Esso Cup.
The Selects became the first Atlantic team to win its first game since Metro beat the Rebelles de Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean 5-1 in 2012, and topped their Nova Scotia Female Midget Hockey League rivals for the third time in five meetings this season.
Northern dominated the first period, outshooting Metro 16-2, but couldn’t find a way past goaltender Brooke Bennett, who stonewalled the Selects for much of the night.
It took until the 10:45 mark of the second period for Northern to break through; MacLean cleaned up a rebound in front after Heath Miller carried the puck out of the corner, putting the Selects up 1-0.
They had a glorious chance to double the lead on a four-minute power play just moments later, but instead it was Madison Gray who went the other way and beat Northern netminder Lily Currie on a shorthanded breakaway to tie the game.
Currie and Bennett traded saves from there, and seemed destined to get the game to overtime.
But MacLean struck again with less than five minutes to go, tucking in a backhand from in close to put the Atlantic Region champions ahead for good and run their playoff win streak to 12.
Mariah Linehan finished the scoring into an empty net with 48 seconds to go.
The Selects are back in action Monday afternoon, taking on the Pionnières de Lanaudière (3:30 p.m. AT), while Metro faces a tough test in the night-cap when it faces the St. Albert Slash, the defending Esso Cup champions (7 p.m. AT).