SLASH BEGINS TITLE DEFENCE WITH WIN OVER QUÉBEC
SUDBURY, Ont. – Madison Willan had a goal and an assist, and Brianna Sank turned away 17 of 18 shots to lead the St. Albert Slash to a 3-1 victory over As de Québec on Sunday in the opener for both at the 2019 Esso Cup.
Isabelle Lajoie and Jaden Bogden also scored for the Slash, who are looking for their third-straight national championship.
Ann-Sophie Bédard scored the lone goal for Québec, while Justine Sylvain delivered an impressive 37-save performance in defeat.
The Slash asserted their authority in the first period by peppering Sylvain with 16 shots on goal. The Québec goaltender came up with several acrobatic saves to keep the score deadlocked before Lajoie finally solved Sylvain with less than two minutes remaining with a wrist shot in tight.
Sank stopped all four shots she faced in period one.
Willan expanded St. Albert’s lead to 2-0 five minutes into the middle frame, netting a tally worthy of the highlight reel. After receiving a breakaway feed from Taylor Anker, Willan fended off pressure from the trailing defender and tucked a nifty backhander through the pads of Sylvain while falling to the ice. Bogden potted the 3-0 goal at 12:13 by slamming the puck into a gaping cage after receiving a short pass from Willan just outside of the crease.
St. Albert outshot Quebec 13-3 in period two.
The Slash controlled the puck for much of the third period, denied the As an opportunity to make a rally.
Bedard ended Sank’s shutout bid with a picture-perfect shot from the slot with 4:18 remaining.
Québec did manage to edge St. Albert 11-9 in third-period shots, but the Slash enjoyed a 40-18 edge overall.
St. Albert will go for its second straight win in a Monday night tilt against the Sudbury Lady Wolves (7 p.m. ET), while the As will try and bounce back from defeat in an early afternoon affair against the Saskatoon Stars (12 p.m. ET).