SABRES PUT OUT FIRE FOR FIRST WIN AT ESSO CUP
SUDBURY, Ont. – Alyssa Kawa powered the Stoney Creek Sabres to their first win of the 2019 Esso Cup on Monday with a hat trick and an assist in a convincing 9-2 decision over the Halifax Fire.
Grace Bellamy and Vanessa Upson recorded a goal and an assist apiece for the Ontario Region representative. Kathleen Reedman, Tiana Faccio, Lauren Messier and Raelene Verbuggen also scored for the Sabres, while Kayla McDougall made 29 saves to earn the win.
Madison Gray and Allie Norris lit the lamp for the Fire.
Bellamy put Stoney Creek on the board only 19 seconds into the game by jamming the puck past Amelia Awad from the goalmouth.
Gray responded on a Halifax 5-on-3 at the seven-minute mark with a backhand goal, only for Upson to restore the Sabres’ lead at 15:22 by drilling a wrist shot over Awad’s shoulder.
Kawa picked up her first goal with 1:35 remaining in the period with a shorthanded effort, and the Sabres skated into the first intermission with a 3-1 lead and a 16-14 shots edge.
A breakaway goal by Kawa expanded the Sabres’ lead to 4-1 just over five minutes into the second period, and Reedman converted on the power play by capitalizing on the chaos in front of the Halifax cage, making it a four-goal game and chasing Awad in favour of Kaelyn Budden.
Faccio delivered a buzzer-beater with a second to go in the period, curling off the right wing and ripping a low shot past Budden to make the game 6-1.
The Sabres and Fire exchanged goals in a two-minute span early in the third period – Kawa completed the hat trick at 4:02 before Norris replied for the Atlantic champions at 5:58.
Messier and Verbuggen rounded out the scoring with tallies late in the game.
Stoney Creek outshot Halifax 16-14 in the third, and 40-31 in the game.
Halifax will try and bounce back and earn a crucial win against the As de Québec on Tuesday (12 p.m. ET). Stoney Creek will square off against its OWHA foe, the Sudbury Lady Wolves (7 p.m. ET).