ALBERTA PICKS UP FIRST WIN AT U18 NATIONALS
REGINA, Sask. – It probably wasn’t the prettiest goal Tyra Meropoulis (Edson, Alta./St. Albert, ABMAAA) has even been credited with, but that probably doesn’t matter to the Alberta forward.
Proving that it never hurts to just put the puck on net, Meropoulis’s shot from outside the blue line wasn’t covered long enough by the Manitoba goaltender, then put in by a defenceman at the side of the net. The goal proved to be the game-winner as Alberta defeated Manitoba 2-1 for its first win at the 2016 National Women’s Under-18 Championship.
Taylor Sawka (Cochrane, Alta./Edge School, CSSHL) also scored for Alberta, while Amanda Zeglen (Calgary, Alta./Pursuit of Excellence, CSSHL) made 37 saves in net for the win.
Ashton Bell (Deloraine, Man./Westman, MFMHL) – with an assist from Abby Krzyzaniak (Neepawa, Man./Edge School, CSSHL)– scored for Manitoba. Kerigan Dowhy (The Pas, Man./Interlake, MFMHL) took the loss in net.
After a goal-less first period, Alberta finally broke the deadlock near the midway mark of the second period. On an extended five-on-three power play Stephanie Markowski (Edmonton, Alta./St. Albert, ABMAAA) passed to Chloe Puddifant (Calgary, Alta./Edge School, CSSHL) at the goal line; Puddifant then sent a short pass out front to Sawka, who spun and scored with her backhand.
In the closing minutes of the period, Zeglen came up big twice to keep her team in front. First she flashed her glove on Bell as she broke in alone, then a few minutes later she stoned Bell again.
A great individual play from Bell allowed Manitoba to pull even 8:26 into the third. The captain did a little toe drag and cleanly beat Zeglen from the high slot.
Already on the power play, Manitoba pulled Dowhy late in third but couldn’t convert on its two-man advantage for the equalizer.