SHIRLEY SCORES LATE, LEADS STARS PAST LADY WOLVES
SUDBURY, Ont. – Grace Shirley showed off her big-game prowess by scoring a shorthanded goal with 41.9 seconds left to lead her Saskatoon Stars to a 3-2 win over the Sudbury Lady Wolves on Wednesday night at the 2019 Esso Cup.
Saskatoon snatched first place away from Sudbury with one game left to go in the preliminary round.
The Stars entered the third period down 2-1 and appeared the host team was cruising towards a fourth straight win, but the door to a comeback opened when the Lady Wolves were caught with too many players on the ice with just over six minutes remaining.
Emily Holmes capitalized on the power-play opportunity with a seeing-eye wrist shot through a maze of traffic in front to tie the game with 4:23 left.
Minutes later, with the Stars now down a player, Shirley delivered the winner by roofing a backhand just underneath the cross-bar on a partial break.
Arden Kliewer made 23 saves to earn the win, while Mireille Kingsley stopped 32 shots in defeat.
Mylène Lefebvre, who led Sudbury with a goal and an assist, broke the ice at the midway point of the first period with a bank shot from behind the net that directed off Kliewer’s right leg and in.
Kaitlin Jockims evened the game with three minutes remaining in the period by diving forward to tap in a rebound off Kingsley’s pad during a Stars power play, but Sudbury picked up a man-advantage marker of its own, and retook the lead, courtesy of a one-timer from Alexe Clavelle nearly four minutes into the second.
Kingsley ensured the score remained 2-1 for the Lady Wolves after 40 minutes with some stupendous saves, including a larcenous glove grab on a partial break for Jockims.
Saskatoon can lock up first place with a win on Thursday afternoon against the Halifax Fire (3:30 p.m. ET), while Sudbury will be hoping it will have a chance to seize first place back against the As de Québec (7 p.m. ET)