Camryn Amundson’s unassisted, shorthanded goal in the second period stood up as the winner in Prince Albert’s 2-1 win over the Saskatoon Stars, giving the Northern Bears a 2-0 stranglehold on the best of five Saskatchewan Midget Girls Triple-A hockey final.
Bears head coach Jeff Willoughby said the pace throughout the game was tremendous.
“It was probably one of the fastest I’ve ever seen in this league,” Willoughby said, who also felt the Stars’ quick start caught them off guard.
“They came out flying in the first period and we were having trouble containing their speed in the first. We had to make a couple of adjustments, just making sure we were on the right side of the puck sooner.”
Prince Albert’s Abby Soyko opened the scoring on a first period power play and the Bears bench boss said the specialty teams were the difference.
“[Saskatoon] play so structured in their own end, so scoring five-on-five is not always at a premium so every time you get a power play goal it’s helpful.”
The Bears were one for three on the power play and killed off all three Saskatoon advantages, which included the shorthanded goal that won the game.
Bears goalie Brooklyn Elek made the biggest of her 18 saves in the final two minutes of the third period with the Stars pressing after two Saskatoon shots went off the post in the final frame.
Willoughy said it was nice to see the puck luck go in their favor.
“How many times in the regular season, you know, you can outshoot a team, you find yourself in a tie game, you need that bounce and maybe we didn’t get it during the season and maybe it’s happening right now for us,” he said.
The Bears will go for the three game sweep and the league championship Tuesday in Saskatoon but Willoughby has already cautioned his players against overconfidence.
“We just told the girls the last one is going to be the toughest and we just have to stay focused,” he said.
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