Stoney Creek, Ont.
GOLD WINGS SHUT OUT LADY WOLVES, ADVANCE TO GOLD MEDAL GAME
by Wendy Graves
STONEY CREEK, Ont. – Bailee Bourassa (Weyburn, Sask.), Cassidy Pirlot (Wauchope, Sask.) and Paige Smith (Midale, Sask.) scored, while Jane Kish (Weyburn, Sask.) made 25 saves in picking up her first shutout of the tournament, as the Weyburn Gold Wings advanced to the gold medal game with a win over the Sudbury Lady Wolves on Friday.
Bourassa and Pirlot each added an assist, as did Ashten Sinclair (Limerick, Sask.) and Jenica Whitrow (Yellow Grass, Sask.).
The day’s first semifinal was a rematch of the game that opened the 2014 Esso Cup. Weyburn won that day, 2-1, in a tight contest that wasn’t decided until the last two minutes of the game.
For the first 20 minutes it appeared it would be more of the same. Coming in it was suspected this would be a battle between offence and defence. Sudbury seemed to find its scoring groove the day before, and earlier Friday forward Karli Shell (Lively, Ont.) was named Top Scorer and Top Forward at the event.
On the other bench, Weyburn had stifled Moncton in its final preliminary game and was led by Kish, who had been recognized as the Top Goaltender that morning.
Despite getting 11 shots a side in the first, neither team was able to get that all-important first goal. Sudbury came closest – with mere seconds left on the clock Kennedy Lanktree (Mindemoya, Ont.) hit the post on a two-on-one.
Weyburn would get on the board just past the halfway point of the game. Using her defender as a screen, Bourassa shot high and beat Stephanie Pascal (Val Caron, Ont.).
Starting the third on the power play, the Gold Wings doubled its lead less than a minute in. A poor pass by the defence left the puck sitting open in the crease and Pirlot free to shovel it in.
“It was a lot of hard work in the corner by the whole line,” Pirlot said after the game.
Smith made it 3-0, when after fanning on her first attempt from the bottom of the face-off circle, she was able to get a shot off on her next stride that seemed to surprise Pascal.
The lessons the Gold Wings learned almost a week ago proved to be the difference.
“We needed to be more careful on the walls because they crash the walls a lot,” Pirlot said. “And we couldn’t give them the zone.”
They say defence wins championships. On this day, it at least got the Gold Wings one step closer.