Archer shines, Northern Bears can’t find equalizer in loss to Laurentides-Lanaudière

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Prince Albert Northern Bears goaltender Brooke Archer (pictured) prepares to make one of her 36 saves in Esso Cup preliminary action Tuesday night.

The Prince Albert Northern Bears came out on the wrong end of a goaltending duel Tuesday night in a 2-1 loss to the Quebec representative Étoiles de Laurentides-Lanaudière in Esso Cup preliminary action.

Both teams would pepper shots on goal through the contest as Étoiles had 38 while the Bears managed 39 in the hockey game.

Northern Bears head coach Steve Young was proud of the way Prince Albert played.

“I thought both teams played the way they had to play tonight. We thought it would be a more wide open game both ways. Both goaltenders played well and it’s the type of game where it’s exciting for both teams and unfortunately we came out on the wrong end.”

Étoiles would open the scoring 4:13 into the first period as Andreanne St-Pierre would be sprung on a breakaway with a solid pass from Olivia Giguere. Anais Leprohon picked up the other assist on the play.

The lead would be doubled at the 10:36 mark as Danika Giroux would find a loose puck in the crease and put it past Bears goaltender Brooke Archer to make it a 2-0 game. Maika Gauthier and Jade Cusson assisted on the play.

The Bears were down early, but they were far from out. Kassie Ferster would find the back of the net from in close to cut the Étoiles lead to 2-1 at the 12:40 mark of the opening period.

Prince Albert would have a premium chance to tie the game as Sasha Malenfant would be sprung on a short handed breakaway late in the first period, but Étoiles netminder Beatrice Plouffe would make an outstanding pad save to keep the lead intact for Laurentides-Lanaudière,

The Northern Bears led the shot clock 19-10 in the first period.

Neither team would find the back of the net in the second period, but Prince Albert would run into penalty trouble with five minor infractions called against them, but they would successfully kill all five Laurentides-Lanaudière power plays in the second period.

Prince Albert would successfully kill all 11 power play opportunities for Étoiles de Laurentides-Lanaudière.

Young says he was pleased with the way the Bears penalty kill unit handled themselves.

“I thought they played with some confidence. Anytime you get confidence early on the kill it helps out. We managed to get pucks down nice. The momentum built that way and it made us stronger.”

Despite being penalized 11 times in the game, Young says the Bears did a good job of keeping their composure and not letting frustration take over.

“It’s not easy. It is this time of the year where you can’t let it happen, I think anytime in any sport where there are those situations and you have to control it. We did the best we could, it is what it is and we have to fight through it.”

Shots in the second period favored Laurentides-Lanaudière 13-8.

Prince Albert would have a couple outstanding opportunities to tie the game in the third period.

Off a two-on-one rush, Julia Cey would feed Kassie Ferster at the mouth of the crease. Ferster’s shot would beat Étoiles goaltender Beatrice Plouffe, but not the red iron of the goalpost.

Sasha Malenfant would be sprung on a breakaway after an expiring minor penalty, Plouffe would stand tall denying Malenfant on both her initial opportunity and the rebound, making the best of her 38 saves in the game.

Brooke Archer made 36 saves for Prince Albert. She was pulled from Monday’s game against Fraser Valley after giving up five goals in the first period.

Young says Archer rebounded nicely after a tough night.

“I thought she played a big game. She challenged and was very focused on the puck in the game. She’s that type of goaltender. The team we played last night, we knew there was going to be a lot of pressure against us so we gave Brooke a rest and she responded well.”

Archer says she was frustrated after the game Monday, but channeled her emotions into her performance against Laurentides-Lanaudière.

“It was pretty tough getting pulled last night. I was pretty hard on myself. Today going into  it, I had the mentality that I need to be mad and take my anger and put it onto the ice and bounce back.”

The Northern Bears continue Esso Cup preliminary play Wednesday night when they take on the Regina Rebels. Puck drops at 7 p.m.