B.C. BEATS ALBERTA TO ADVANCE TO SEMIFINALS
REGINA, Sask. – It was simple: win and advance to the semifinals of the 2016 National Women’s Under-18 Championship.
Thanks to goals from Maegan Beres (Lions Bay, B.C./North American Hockey Academy, JWHL), Courtney Vorster (Richmond, B.C./Shattuck-St. Mary’s, USHS) and Olivia Knowles (Campbell River, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL) – and 41 saves by Kate Stuart (Chilliwack, B.C./Pursuit of Excellence, CSSHL) – British Columbia scored a 3-1 victory over Alberta to remain in medal contention.
British Columbia advanced to the semifinals for the second straight year; it marks the first time the team will make back-to-back appearances in the medal round.
It was a game defined by special teams. After 40 minutes the teams had already been whistled for a combined 22 penalty minutes. The two sides finished with 32 penalty minutes in total.
B.C. jumped out to an early lead in the first period with a power play goal. What seemed like a harmless dump-in behind the Alberta net turned into an adventure when goaltender Amanda Zeglen (Calgary, Alta./Pursuit of Excellence, CSSHL) tripped while trying to play the puck. Amongst a mass of bodies in front of the net, Beres scored.
Another Alberta penalty resulted in a second power play goal for B.C. With the puck down low, Vorster poached in unnoticed from the blue-line and scored from the low slot off a pass from Miranda Gaudet (West Kelowna, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL).
Less than four minutes later, though, Alberta had a reply. On the power play, Ireland Perrott (Sturgeon County, Alta./Pursuit of Excellence, CSSHL) – set up in the crease – redirected a pass from Rachel Weiss (Calgary, Alta./Rocky Mountain, ABMAAA).
B.C. got some insurance 7:39 into the third period, scoring for the first time at even strength. After an icing call resulted in a face-off in the Alberta zone, B.C. was able to create traffic – and some chaos – down low. The puck found its way back to the face-off dot, where Knowles shot it in over the sprawled bodies in front.
B.C. now leads the all-time head-to-head matchup 5-1.
The loss means Alberta will play in the fifth-place game on Saturday.