ELFORD EARNS SHUTOUT; ONTARIO BLUE WINS FIRST
REGINA, Sask. – An impressive 24-save shutout performance by Tristyn Elford (New Liskeard, Ont./Etobicoke, PWHL) gave Ontario Blue a 2-0 win over Saskatchewan on Thursday night and, with it, the team’s first victory at the 2016 National Women’s Under-18 Championship.
Alicia Pallister (Bowmanville, Ont./Whitby, PWHL) had a goal and an assist. Brooke McQuigge (Bowmanville, Ont./Whitby, PWHL) also scored in the win. Savannah Bouzide (Amherstburg, Ont./Southwest, PWHL) picked up an assist.
Chantal Burke (Saskatoon, Sask./Regina, SFMAAAHL) was equally solid in net for Saskatchewan, coming through with 26 saves.
It was a fast-paced, well-played game that saw lots of chances at both ends of the ice – including many odd-man rushes – just not a lot of goals.
The game-winner came midway through the second period. McQuigge won an offensive zone face-off back to Pallister, then broke for the net. Pallister took a few strides and shot. Burke made the initial save, but an unmarked McQuigge was perfectly positioned for the rebound.
Saskatchewan pressed hard for the equalizer, especially over the final 10 minutes of the game. First, Grace Shirley (Saskatoon, Sask./Saskatoon, SFMAAAHL) was denied by Elford on the doorstep with nine minutes to play.
Then, three minutes later, after Miranda Hatt (Regina, Sask./Regina, SFMAAAHL) created a turnover below the goal line, Alexandrea Gray (Brownlee, Sask./Stanstead College, CAHS) was stopped point blank by Elford’s glove.
With less than five minutes to play, Kristen Siermachesky (New Liskeard, Ont./Stoney Creek, PWHL) laid out in the low slot to break up a Saskatchewan two-on-one.
Pallister iced it for Ontario Blue with an empty-netter with seven seconds left on the clock.
This was the first meeting between Ontario Blue and Saskatchewan since the 2011 U18 nationals. Ontario Blue has now won all five games between the teams.