ONTARIO RED TOPS ATLANTIC
WINKLER, Man. – Propelled by a one-goal and one-assist performance by Kendall Cooper (Burlington, Ont.), Ontario Red cruised to a 5-2 victory over the Atlantic squad to open up the 2019 National Women’s Under-18 Championship on Tuesday.
Maddi Wheeler (Erinsville, Ont.), Sarah Thompson (Orleans, Ont.), Grace Nelles (St. Anns, Ont.) and Gabrielle Davidson Adams (Cornwall, Ont.) also scored goals for Ontario Red, which is embarking on a bid to capture its fifth-consecutive gold medal.
Dominique Cormier (Ste-Marie-de-Kent, N.B.) led the way for Atlantic with a goal and an assist. Ava Benedict (Falmouth, N.S.) also scored.
Kayle Osborne (Rideau Lakes, Ont.) made 14 saves to pick up the win, while Cassie McCallum (Rothesay, N.B.) stopped 40 pucks in defeat.
Period one was a largely stingy affair as both teams could only muster seven shots apiece.
Cormier put Atlantic ahead 1-0 just over three minutes into the game with a perfect shovel-tip of a centring pass from Catherine Foulem (Dieppe, N.B.).
Ontario Red broke through for the equalizer at the 17:40 mark of the frame as Wheeler responded to Cormier’s tip tally with a deflection of her own off a Cooper wrist shot.
Ontario Red ensured the complexion of the second period would not be a low-shot affair as it ratcheted 23 shots towards McCallum.
Most of the opportunities were generated because of a strong cycle attack. This pressure led to Cooper scoring on the power play at 2:32 and Thompson converting at even strength just past the halfway point.
Benedict responded for Atlantic with a shot from just outside the crease late in the frame to make the score 3-2 at the end of 40 minutes.
Ontario Red showed the form of a champion in the third period with a 12-1 advantage in the third period and by outscoring Atlantic 2-0. Nelles made the score 4-2 with a hard shot from the left circle and Davidson Adams extended her team’s lead to 5-2 with a point-blank goal on an odd-man break.
Ontario won the special teams battle by going 1-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.