STARS BEAT SABRES TO OPEN ESSO CUP
SUDBURY, Ont. – Grace Shirley notched a hat trick, and Kaitlin Jockims and Anna Leschyshyn had a goal and an assist apiece to propel the Saskatoon Stars to a 6-4 win over the Stoney Creek Sabres on Sunday at the 2019 Esso Cup.
Calli Arnold added a shorthanded empty-net goal for the Stars, who opened their fourth appearance at Canada’s National Female Midget Championship in the past five years on the right note.
Arden Kliewer turned aside 16 of 20 shots to earn the victory.
Vanessa Upson led the way for Stoney Creek with two goals. Alicia Juras and Jenna Duarte also scored for the Sabres.
Megan Warrener fended off 40 of the 45 shots directed her way.
Stoney Creek drew first blood midway through the first period as Upson went top-shelf on a breakaway immediately after her team killed off a penalty, but Shirley responded at 13:28 off a scramble in front of Warrener.
She struck again with less than five seconds on the clock by one-timing a perfect cross-ice pass from Abby DeCorby into the back of the net.
Saskatoon held a substantial territorial edge in the first period, outshooting Stoney Creek 18-6.
Juras deadlocked the game by tipping in a point shot from Tiana Faccio past Cadrain at 7:34 of the second period, and Upson gave a momentary 3-2 lead for Stoney Creek at 13:29 by jamming home a loose puck in front of the net.
Leschyshyn tied the game 32 seconds later by nudging the puck past Warrener from the lip of the crease before Jockims put the Stars ahead for good at 15:28 with a wrist shot to the far side.
Shirley’s hat trick tally at 16:41 – a forehand shot in tight – gave the Stars some relief late in the game.
Arnold chipped in the empty-net goal at 18:26 before Duarte added a consolation marker for the Sabres.
Saskatoon outshot Stoney Creek 17-6 in the third period, and 46-20 in the game.
The Stars will look to build off the win Monday when they take on the As de Québec (12 p.m. ET), while Stoney Creek will look to rebound against the Halifax Fire (3:30 p.m. ET).