STARS BLANK HOSTS, STRETCH ESSO WIN STREAK TO FOUR
JASON LA ROSE
BRIDGEWATER, N.S. – Mackenna Parker had two goals and two assists, and the Saskatoon Stars put on a record-setting defensive performance in a 5-0 win over Metro Boston Pizza to finish play Wednesday at the 2018 Esso Cup.
The Stars held Metro to just six shots on goal, the lowest total in tournament history, as they improved to 4-0 and clinched first place in the preliminary round.
Joelle Fiala, Ashley Messier, Kaitlin Jockims and Grace Shirley had the other goals for Saskatoon. Fiala, Messier and Shirley had a goal and an assist apiece, while Anna Leschyshyn contributed a pair of helpers. Arden Kliewer recorded the shutout between the pipes.
It took all of 31 seconds for the Stars to open the scoring; Parker took a short feed from Leschyshyn and snapped a quick shot to the short side on Metro goaltender Brooke Bennett for the 1-0 goal.
Fiala doubled the advantage on a Saskatoon power play, tapping in a cross-crease feed from Leschyshyn.
Bennett owned the second period, making 21 saves. Only one puck got by her, an end-to-end rush by Messier that was finished by a quick move to the backhand to make it 3-0.
Jockims got on the board just shy of the eight-minute mark of the third, banging in a loose puck that had squeezed through Bennett off a shot by Parker.
Saskatoon capped the scoring with a pair of late power-play markers; Parker roofed a backhand with just under seven minutes left, and set up Shirley in the slot for the sixth and final goal in the dying seconds.
Kliewer made two saves in each period to earn the clean-sheet.
The Stars will look to finish a perfect preliminary round against the Northern Stars on Thursday (3:30 p.m. AT), while Metro will close out its tournament against the Pionnières de Lanaudière in the prelim finale (7 p.m. AT).