Bears earn weekend split with Notre Dame

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. The graduating players from the 2023-24 Prince Albert Northern Bears. Pictured from left to right: Bree Purcell, Tristyn Endicott, Maci Nowosad, Julia Cey and Raelyn Vezeau.

THe Prince Albert Northern Bears battled to earn a weekend split with the Notre Dame Hounds in Saskatchewan Female U18 AAA Hockey League (SFU18AAAHL) play at the Art Hauser Centre.

Hounds shutout Bears Saturday

A strong first period led the Hounds past the Bears 5-0 on Saturday afternoon

Northern Bears head coach Steve Young says the Hounds played a strong 60 minute game and didn’t give any opportunity for Prince Albert to forge the comeback trail.

“I thought Notre Dame came out and worked very hard. They outworked us in the first. They gave us nothing and scored on their opportunities and tough to fight back from a team like that because they stay constant.”

Notre Dame would open the scoring less than two minutes into the first period as Felicia An would find a loose puck in the crease and put it past Annika Neufeldt to put the visitors on the board early. Maisie Kozak provided the helper on the play.

The Hound lead would double with 7:41 remaining in the first period. After a loose puck scramble in front of the Bears net, Alexa Albert would record her second goal of the season. An and Kozak received the assists on the play.

Sara Harbus would extend the Notre Dame lead to three at the intermission with her sixth goal of the season. Reagan Lynch assisted on the play.

Elisha Caplan and Kozak would add single tallies in the second and third periods for the Hounds.

Annika Neufeldt made 28 stops for Prince Albert while Schay Camphaug earned the shutout with 20 saves for the Hounds.

Bears rally, earn overtime win Sunday

The Prince Albert Northern Bears forged a late comeback on Sunday afternoon to down the Hounds 3-2 in overtime.

Young says the Bears played a better game Sunday then on Saturday.

“Today our effort was better. Anytime you play Notre Dame they’re a team that you have to be at your best and I thought our effort was better today and we worked right until the end of the game to get that goal and have an opportunity to win in overtime.”

After a scoreless first period, Julia Cey would get the Bears on the board first with 6:57 to go in the middle frame. Kinley Brassard and Tristyn Endicott earned the helpers on the play.

The Hounds pulled even with less than a minute to go in the middle frame as Sara Harbus would streak in along the right wing and her shot would beat Nikita Krayetski to knot up the score.

Notre Dame would jump ahead less then two minutes into the third period as Bree Martell would score the go-ahead tally to put the Hounds up by one. Reagan Lynch assisted on the play.

Prince Albert would even up the score with just 1:57 to go as a nifty pass from Julia Cey would land on the tape of Marly Dumanski and the former Battleford Shark would strike for her fifth of the season to send the game into overtime.

After a period of four-on-four overtime solved nothing, the Bears and Hounds would head to a three-on-three overtime.

Julia Cey would pick up the overtime winner as she would strike for her second goal of the contest and 18th goal of the season with 2:22 remaining in the second overtime period. Dumanski and Hannah Guttormson assisted on the play.

Nikita Krayetski earned player of the game honors for the Bears making 35 saves in the win. Schay Camphaug made 27 stops for the Hounds.

“I thought she challenged Notre Dame well. They’re a team that gets pucks to the net, and I thought she challenged, she stayed focused, and obviously a big part of the win today.”

It was the final regular season home game for the graduating class of Northern Bears which features Bree Purcell, Raelyn Vezeau, Maci Nowosad, Tristyn Endicott and Julia Cey.

Young says the group of 2006-born players have been crucial members of the Northern Bears program throughout their careers.

“Like we say every year, they come into the league and they think it’s going to be a long time and all of a sudden their time’s up. I think there’s certain emotions for them, obviously they’re at an age where they’re ready to move on in life and they just have to obviously remember where they came from. We’re proud of all of them and they’re a big part of our hockey club.”

The Bears return to action on Tuesday night when they travel to Saskatoon to take on the Stars. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.