MAPLETHORPE’S FIRST IS GAME-WINNER FOR ST. ALBERT
MORDEN, Man. – Cassidy Maplethorpe picked an excellent time to score her first goal of the 2017 Esso Cup, finding the back of the net late in the third period to give the St. Albert Slash a 4-3 win over the Harfangs du Triolet on Tuesday afternoon.
It was the Quebec champions who opened the scoring, on a scramble play in front of Slash goaltender Brianna Sank. Zoé Thibault knocked the puck out of the air and snapped a shot on net. The rebound bounced right to Chloé Gendreau at the side of the crease for an easy tap-in, her fifth goal of the Esso Cup, and a 1-0 lead for the Harfangs.
Less than three minutes later, Gendreau stole the puck off a Slash defender in the neutral zone and was in alone on Sank. The Harfangs forward made three moves before finding the back of the net for her championship-leading sixth goal.
St. Albert seemed to regroup during the intermission, led by Madison Willan. The Slash forward took control near the six-minute mark of the second period, walking off the half-boards into the slot and rifling a shot off the post and past Mélyann Daigneault, cutting the Harfangs' lead in half.
The Slash maintained the heavy offensive pressure, which paid off with a shot from Jayme Doyle that managed to sneak through Daigneault and tied the game. The pace remained furious throughout, with both team trading odd-man rushes and power plays. St. Albert lead 35-22 in shots after the second period, but the score remained tied 2-2.
Triolet regained the lead for the second time just over two minutes into the final frame. A failed clearing attempt went straight to Meagan Bureau-Gagnon, who stepped into the slot, shot and scored.
That lead would be short-lived, however, as just two-and-half minutes later Taylor Anker picked up the puck in the Slash zone and carried it to the offensive line, where she sent it over to Megan Arthur. The pair worked the give-and-go to perfection, as Anker cut to the net and was able to pick up her own rebound and slide it behind Daigneault.
The game remained tied until Willan and Maplethorpe broke in on a two-on-one. Willan, looking for the pass, watched as Maplethorpe shot high and hard, giving St. Albert its first lead of the game, one the Slash would not relinquish.
St. Albert remains the only unbeaten team at the Esso Cup and will put that on the line tomorrow in a showdown with the Prince Albert Bears at 12 p.m. CT. Triolet will look to rebound from its first loss in the Day 4 finale against the host Pembina Valley Hawks at 7 p.m. CT.