ONTARIO RED SHUTS OUT B.C., ADVANCES TO GOLD MEDAL GAME
HUNTSVILLE, Ont. – Maria Dominico (North Bay, Ont./Durham West, PWHL) picked a fine time to score her first goal of the 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship.
So, too, did Kristin O’Neill (Oakville, Ont./Stoney Creek, PWHL). Not to mention Anonda Hoppner (Oakville, Ont./Oakville, PWHL).
The trio provided all the scoring the tight-checking Ontario Red would need Saturday night, as it pitched a semifinal shutout on British Columbia and advanced to the gold medal game.
Stephanie Neatby (Toronto, Ont./Toronto, PWHL) stopped all 24 shots she faced for her third win of the week.
Alex Gulstene (North Vancouver, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy, JWHL) was solid in net for British Columbia and finished with 21 saves.
An evenly played opening period looked like it was about to end tied at zeros, but Ontario Red gave itself a sudden shot of momentum going into the first intermission. British Columbia won a late face-off in its own zone, but Dominico hustled to battle for the puck, took it and scored on a wraparound stick side with only 18 seconds remaining.
After a scoreless second period, O’Neill doubled Ontario Red’s lead early in the third. She forced a turnover near centre ice and passed the puck to Daryl Watts (Toronto, Ont/Mississauga, PWHL). On the ensuing two-on-one, she sent the return feed from Watts far side over Gulstene’s pads.
British Columbia pulled its goalie with nearly three minutes remaining in the third. Hoppner forced a turnover near centre ice, then sent the puck into the empty net.
Ontario Red has a lot of offensive weapons, but today it won with defence and tight checking. The creative B.C. forwards were given little room to maneuver and forced into taking shots that Neatby could easily track.
Ontario Red will play in its ninth gold medal game in the tournament’s 10-event history. It’s a perfect 8-0 all time in the championship game. The team plays Manitoba Sunday afternoon (4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT).
British Columbia will play Ontario Blue in the bronze medal game (12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT) and look to win its first medal since it won bronze in January 2005.