Stoney Creek, Ont.
WHITROW NETS GAME-WINNER IN CLOSING MINUTES
By Wendy Graves
STONEY CREEK, ONT. Jenica Whitrow (Yellow Grass, Sask.) deflected a pass from Cassidy Pirlot (Wauchope, Sask.) with less than two minutes to play, as the Weyburn Gold Wings opened the 2014 Esso Cup on Sunday with a 2-1 win over the Sudbury Lady Wolves.
Madison Solie (Sedley, Sask.) also scored for the Gold Wings.
Karli Shell (Lively, Ont.) scored the lone goal for the Lady Wolves.
In a tight contest that saw several great saves by both goalies, the turning point came in the second half of the third period, when Caitlin Dempsey (Heward, Sask.) was assessed a double minor for head contact.
Weyburn escaped those four minutes unscathed.
“It really gave us that extra push,” said Gold Wings goalie Jane Kish (Weyburn, Sask.), who made 26 saves and earned Player of the Game honours for her team.
“Defenceman Madison Solie (Sedley, Sask.) really did some great things on that four-minute kill. I think I even told her, ‘You rock.’ ”
A few minutes later Whitrow had set up shop outside the Sudbury crease when Pirlot skated in from the side boards and let her shot go.
“To be honest I don’t think I did much of the work,” Whitrow said. “She shot it right at me and it went in.”
Sudbury got on the board first in the first. With Karli Jensen off for hooking, the Lady Wolves power play went to work. Kennedy Lanktree (Mindemoya, Ont.) attempted to score on a wrap-around; instead, the puck eventually found its way out front to Shell, who beat Kish glove side.
Despite Weyburn outshooting Sudbury 11-7 in the opening period, it was Sudbury with the better scoring chances. With about four minutes to play Meagan McGaughey (Sudbury, Ont.) seemed to break in alone on net. Weyburn defenceman Madison Colbow (Estevan, Sask.) chased her down, her stick getting only puck. The only thing that ended up in the net was McGaughey herself.
Sudbury continued to create more chances in the second, its lead kept to one only by several sprawling saves by Kish. A little luck gave the team the equalizer.
Seconds after icing was waved off, Solie’s shot from a few feet inside the blue line bounced past Sudbury goalie Stephanie Pascal (Val Caron, Ont.)
Pascal (Val Caron, Ont.) stopped 21 shots and earned Player of the Game honours for Sudbury.