QUEBEC EDGES BLUE IN OT TO CAPTURE BRONZE
WINKLER, Man. – Emilie Lussier (Ste-Martine, Que.) scored the dramatic game-winning goal with 2:45 remaining in overtime to lift Quebec to a 2-1 victory over Ontario Blue in the bronze medal game Saturday at the 2019 National Women’s Under-18 Championship.
After a spirited puck battle forced the puck free in the defensive zone, Lussier galloped up the right wing with goal lights in her eyes. As soon as she gained the attacking line, she banked the puck off the boards to herself, muscled her way past two defenders and beat Ontario Blue netminder Jessie McPherson (Chatham, Ont.) one-on-one with a forehand shot that connected just inside the left post.
The winner was made possible thanks to a dramatic equalizer from forward Ann-Frédérik Naud (St-Félix-de-Valois, Que.) with just 3:41 remaining in the third period; she tipped the puck into the net with a perfect sweeping backhand shot as soon as she received a hard centring pass from Gabrielle Santerre (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.)
Ève Gascon (Terrebonne, Que.), crowned on Friday as the top goaltender of the tournament, helped vault her team to the win with a sturdy 21-save performance.
It was McPherson who stood out in net during the majority of the game as she produced a 35-save effort. McPherson was at her best in a first period where she turned aside all 16 shots directed her way.
Before the narrative was rewritten late in the game, it appeared like Ontario Blue was on its way to nabbing a narrow victory thanks to an ice-breaking goal from Kirstyn McQuigge (Bowmanville, Ont.) midway through the second period.
She scored the opener by being in the right place at the right time as a puck bounced off Quebec defender Emilie Fortunato (Laval, Que.) right to McQuigge, who ripped a low, hard shot past Gascon.
As a result of the victory, Quebec’s all-time medal count at this event stands at seven silver medals and two bronze.