LESLIE SEALS THE DEAL IN SHOOTOUT AS BLUE WINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP OPENER
CALGARY, Alta. – Rebecca Leslie (Ottawa, Ont./Boston University, HE) netted the game-winner in the fifth round of the shootout to give Blue a 3-2 win over Gold in the opening game at Canada’s National Women’s Development Team selection camp on Tuesday night.
Leslie went to the backhand to beat Gold goaltender Amanda Leveille (Kingston, Ont./University of Minnesota, WCHA) and end a wild game that saw Blue give up a one-lead in the dying minutes.
In a fast-paced, Blue-dominated first period, it was Gold netminder Erica Howe (Orleans, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) who stood on her head, making 13 saves as Blue held a whopping 13-1 advantage in shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes.
The scoreless hockey continued until the late stages of the second period; Erin Ambrose (Keswick, Ont./Clarkson University, ECAC) got it started for Gold, racing in from the blue-line to find Kristyn Capizzano’s (Oakville, Ont./Boston College, HE) rebound and slide the puck past Elaine Chuli (Waterford, Ont./University of Connecticut, HE).
Blue answered just 2:30 later as Catherine Dubois (Charlesbourg, Que./Limoilou, CEGEP) worked the give-and-go with Karly Heffernan (Sherwood Park, Alta./Harvard University, ECAC), who dangled her way to the hash-marks before going top shelf with a backhand past Leveille.
Shae Labbe (Calgary, Alta./Warner School, JWHL) gave Blue its first lead 16 seconds after that, rushing the puck from the neutral zone and finding the back of the net to put Blue up 2-1 after 40 minutes.
Blue looked to be on its way to victory before Rebecca Kohler’s (St. Thomas, Ont./University of North Dakota, WCHA) stretch pass found Sarah Lefort (Ormstown, Que./Boston University, HE), who fired the puck over Chuli’s glove, tying the game 2-2 with just 3:06 left in regulation time.
After a five minute, four-on-four overtime, solved nothing, Blue went the distance to get the win in a shootout. Kohler, Gold’s first shooter, put the pressure on as she went bar-down on Chuli, but Renata Fast (Burlington, Ont./Clarkson University, ECAC) kept Blue in the game as she squeaked one through Leveille’s five-hole on her team’s last chance.
Lefort, Labbe and Laura Stacey (Kleinburg, Ont./Dartmouth College, ECAC) went three up, three down to set up Leslie’s winner on the final shot.
Blue finished regulation and overtime with a one-sided 36-16 advantage in shots on goal.
The teams will meet again Friday night (8 p.m. MT) at the Markin MacPhail Centre before closing out the intrasquad series on Saturday (6 p.m. MT).