KO GETS OT WINNER, ALBERTA GET FIRST WIN
HUNTSVILLE, Ont. – The teams and the fans at the Canada Summit Centre waited nearly 61 minutes for a goal Friday afternoon, and when it finally came it was a beauty.
Tianna Ko (Calgary, Alta./Calgary, AMMFHL) batted a rebound out of the air from just outside the crease only 55 seconds into overtime to give Alberta its first win of the 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship, a 1-0 decision over Atlantic.
Seconds earlier Ko had created a turnover in the neutral zone, then drove to the net. Mairead Bast’s (Red Deer, Alta./Pursuit of Excellence, CSSHL) shot from the side boards was stopped by Atlantic goalie Shelby Ryan (Dartmouth, N.S./Rothesay Netherwood School, CAHS). The rebound barely had time to hang in the air before Ko swung and hit the puck into the net.
Zoe De Beauville (Calgary, Alta./Calgary, AMMFHL) made 21 saves for the shutout.
Ryan stopped 21 shots for Atlantic.
Both teams had plenty to play for in the day’s second match-up. Atlantic could clinch its first semifinal berth since 2011 with a win in regulation. Alberta could keep its hopes alive if it won in 60 minutes, as well.
The extra time needed means Alberta is now eliminated from medal round contention, while Atlantic waits to see what British Columbia does later in the day against Ontario Blue.
Offence hadn’t come easy to either team in Huntsville: Atlantic had three goals in two games coming in; Alberta, only one.
Both had their chances Friday.
In the first period, Atlantic’s Jane Stevens (Upper Tantallon, N.S./Rothersay Netherwood School, CAHS) was turned away on a two-on-one. During a four-minute power play later on, the team moved the puck effectively around the Alberta zone – twice stopping clearing attempts – but De Beauville and her defenders keep the scoresheet clean.
In the second period, Brette Pettet (Kentville, N.S./Shattuck-St. Mary’s School, CAHS) was turned aside twice from the top of the crease, only a minute after Ryan had denied Alberta’s Amanda McLeod (Okotoks, Alta./Edge School, CSSHL) from spinning and scoring.
Alberta will play Saskatchewan in the seventh place game on Saturday (10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT). Atlantic will learn its fate later in the day: a win in regulation or overtime by British Columbia gives the West Coast team the last seat at the medal round table. A loss of any kind gives it to Atlantic.