First blood

Prince Albert Northern Bears forward Story Navrot scored the shorthanded game-winning goal in P.A.’s 5-1 win over the Saskatoon Stars in Saskatoon on Thursday night. The Bears now lead the best-of-five series 1-0. (File photo)

Bears beat Stars 5-1, lead best-of-five championship finals 1-0

The Prince Albert Northern Bears took a bite out of the Saskatoon Stars on Thursday night.

Five separate players scored five unanswered goals while goalie Ryan Fontaine stopped 29 shots as the Bears knocked off the Stars 5-1 at Agriplace Arena. The win put the Bears up 1-0 in the best-of-five SFMAAAHL finals.

“It was a little bit closer than a 5-1 game,” Bears assistant coach Gord Hobson said.

“I thought our goaltending was very good, (Fontaine) made the key saves when we needed (her) to. I thought the shots were fairly even both ways. We got a couple of bounces. I thought our girls were hungry and we found the rebounds and put them in the back of the net. All-in-all, it was a pretty good effort by the whole team.”

The Stars were quick to score the opening goal, as playoff scoring leader Grace Shirley netted her 10th marker of the postseason after only 1:15 of play.

But after that it was all Bears. Mid way through the first, Miranda Heidt responded for P.A., tying the score at 1.

The offence kept rolling for P.A. in the second.

Story Navrot scored a shorthanded goal to give the Bears their first lead of the match. Two minutes later Kate Ball would extend the lead to 3-1. Camryn Amundson added a goal later in the period to put the visitors up 4-1.

In the final period of regulation, Brooklyn Anderson capped off the scoring for P.A. The Bears finished the game with five goals on 28 shots, a 17.9 shooting percentage.

“I thought our girls played a good 60 minutes of hockey at both ends of the ice,” Hobson said.

“We got pucks deep and we got pucks to the right spots. It was definitely an even game. I just thought our girls were really up and they brought a lot of energy to the game.”

Game 2 will be played at the Art Hauser Centre on Sunday, March 19 starting at 7 p.m. Hobson said he expects the Stars to “come out firing” and play a stronger game.

“It’s important to win Game 1 but it’s just one of the first team to get to three games,” he said.

“We’re just going to take the next game and hopefully we can keep home ice advantage here. That’s what you play for throughout the season and that’s what Saskatoon has. Now we have it so we’ve got to hold serve and try to get a win on Sunday night. It’s going to be a hard-fought series, I don’t anybody’s going to win three games straight. It’s going to be a battle out there.”


Game Summary

Prince Albert 5, Saskatoon 1

Northern Bears lead best-of-five series 1-0

First Period

  1. Saskatoon, Shirley 10 (Rongve) 1:15
  2. Prince Albert, Heidt 2 (Ab. Soyko) 9:54

Second Period

  1. Prince Albert, Navrot 3 (Amundson) 7:32 (sh)
  2. Prince Albert, Ball 3 (Desmarais, Hobson) 9:37
  3. Prince Albert, Amundson 3 (unassisted) 15:55

Third Period

  1. Prince Albert, Anderson 2 (Al. Soyko, Ab. Soyko) 13:39

Goalies: Prince Albert — Ryan Fontaine, 29 saves (W, 4-0-0); Saskatoon — Jordan Ivanco, 23 saves (L, 4-1-0).