MARTIN’S OT WINNER SENDS B.C. INTO SEMIS
HUNTSVILLE, Ont. – Kirsten Martin’s (Rosedale, B.C./Pacific, JWHL) redirection of Amy Potomak’s (Aldergrove, B.C./Pursuit of Excellence, BCMAAA) shot 53 seconds into overtime lifted British Columbia over Ontario Blue, securing the team second place in Group B and sending it into the semifinals of the 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship.
With Atlantic having already secured a single point earlier in the day, British Columbia needed to win on Friday to clinch a spot in the weekend’s medal round.
Thanks to an Ontario Blue penalty with seven seconds left in regulation, there was lots of extra room to move around when overtime began. British Columbia took its time passing the puck around the offensive zone, until Potomak saw a lane from the face-off circle. Her shot toward the net was met by Martin’s stick at the top of the crease.
Leona Sim (North Vancouver, B.C./Pacific, JWHL) scored both of British Columbia’s regulation goals. Shay-lee McConnell (Port Alberni, B.C./Ontario Hockey Academy, ONMAAA) picked up two assists.
Alex Gulstene (North Vancouver, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy, JWHL) made 23 saves for her second win of the week.
Coralie Larose (Embrun, Ont./Ottawa, PWHL) and Meaghan Hector (Georgetown, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) scored for Ontario Blue. Carmen Lasis (Toronto, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL) took the loss, stopping 28 shots.
Even in defeat Ontario Blue still locked up top spot in Group B, thanks to the single point it picked up in overtime. The team will play the second place finisher from Group A on Saturday (4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT), while British Columbia plays that pool’s winner right after (7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT).
British Columbia got the start it was looking for thanks to an early power play opportunity. Less than a minute into the man-advantage, Abby Cook (Kelowna, B.C./Pursuit of Excellence, BCMAAA) called for the puck at the blue line. Her shot hit an Ontario Blue body in front, and Sim was able to put home the loose puck from the slot.
Ontario Blue drew even before the first intermission. Eighteen seconds after British Columbia killed off a slashing penalty, Larose shot the puck on net while moving through the high slot. Her shot appeared to deflect in off a B.C. player.
Sim’s second of the game, on a late power play in the second period, was a lesson in persistence. Both she and Potomak made multiple attempts at the puck, with Sim finally finishing from the slot.
Ontario Blue equalized midway through the third period. Eighteen seconds after Potomak took a delay of game penalty, Hector found the back of the net from the face-off dot.