ONTARIO RED DOMINANTS IN CLOSE WIN OVER QUEBEC
HUNTSVILLE, Ont. – Ontario Red fired 51 shots on net, but it was goals by Saroya Tinker (Oshawa, Ont./Durham West, PWHL) and Annie Berg (Beamsville, Ont./Cambridge, PWHL) 26 seconds apart in the first period that lifted the team past Quebec at the 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship.
The opening day finale was billed as a battle of heavyweights. Ontario Red and Quebec have met in the gold medal game six of the nine times the tournament has been contested, and have won a combined 16 medals.
But through the first 40 minutes Wednesday night, the game was lopsided everywhere but the scoreboard.
Two early power plays gave Ontario Red time to finds its rhythm in the offensive zone. While the team couldn’t convert on either opportunity, it built on the momentum of dictating play to take the lead just past the midway mark of the first. A goalmouth scramble left at least eight bodies standing or laying in front of the net. Tinker came in from the blue line to score from the low slot.
Twenty-six seconds later, Ontario Red doubled its lead. Berg redirected Victoria Howran’s (Bancroft, Ont./Whitby, PWHL) point shot past the outstretched glove of Edith D’Astous-Moreau (Laval, Que./Stanstead College, CAHS).
D’Astous-Moreau continued to be the busiest person in the building in the second period. An early power play saw the Quebec goalie sprawl to make two saves to keep her team within two. She then raised her far shoulder just enough to stop Sarah Verbeek (Timmins, Ont./Cambridge, PWHL).
Coming out of the second intermission Quebec had been outshot 35-13 but still trailed by only a deuce.
With the ice still wet to start the third, Kristina Shanahan (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Que./Dawson College, CEGEP) picked off the puck behind the Ontario Red net, skated out front and beat Stephanie Neatby (Toronto, Ont./Toronto, PWHL) short side.
Daryl Watts (Toronto, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL) took a body checking penalty with 1:58 to play in the third. Quebec pulled its goalie a minute later but couldn’t find the late equalizer with the two extra skaters.
Neatby finished with 19 saves in the win, while D’Astous-Moreau made 49 saves in defeat.
Day 2 in Huntsville has Quebec playing Manitoba in the early afternoon (1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT) and Ontario Red next on the ice to meet Saskatchewan (4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT).