SIM GIVES B.C. OPENING DAY WIN
HUNTSVILLE, ONT. – Leona Sim (North Vancouver, B.C./Pacific, JWHL) scored with 7:15 remaining in the third period to lift British Columbia over Alberta 2-1 in the opening game of the 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship.
After her team was able to keep the puck in the offensive zone, Sim went far side from the slot before leaping in the air to celebrate.
Kirsten Martin (Rosedale, B.C./Pacific, JWHL) and Amy Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C./Pursuit of Excellence, BCMAAA) picked up the assists on the game-winner.
Cassidy Bell (Baldonnel, B.C./Pacific, JWHL) had the other goal for British Columbia. Alex Gulstene (North Vancouver, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy, JWHL) made 19 saves in picking up the win.
Tyra Meropoulis (Edson, Alta./Parkland Athletic Club, AMMFHL) scored the lone goal for Alberta.
Zoe De Beauville (Calgary, Alta./Calgary, AMMFHL) made 15 saves in a losing effort.
The game was up-tempo from the get-go, neither team showing signs of fatigue from the long flights and accompanying time change. British Columbia created the better scoring chances early on, but took until 16:23 of the first to capitalize.
Defenceman Bell poke checked the puck off Chloe Puddifant (Calgary, Alta./Edge School, CSSHL) at centre ice, then drove toward the net on her off wing. Her centering pass hit a defender, and Bell sent the unexpected puck’s return high short side.
Alberta already had the extra step in the second period, but received an extra boost thanks to the glove of goalie De Beauville. A cross-ice pass left British Columbia starring at an open net, but De Beauville flashed her glove on the doorstep shot and the goal judge promptly turned off the prematurely lit red light.
Minutes later Alberta finally broke through, with Meropoulis finishing off the three-on-one passing play with Amanda McLeod (Okotoks, Alta./Edge School, CSSHL) and Puddifant.
After only 22 shots combined through the first two periods, both teams were more active in putting the puck on net in the third, but strong defensive stands on both sides prevented many from getting through.
British Columbia is back on the ice early Thursday to play Atlantic (10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT). Alberta plays the late game against Ontario Blue (7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT).