Bears get Rushed in second game of Esso Cup

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Prince Albert Northern Beras forward Claudia Lammers attempts to split two Fraser Valley Rush defenders during Esso Cup action Monday at the Art Hauser Centre.

The Prince Albert Northern Bears are still in search of their first victory at the 2023 Esso Cup, falling 10-1 to the Pacific champion Fraser Valley Rush on Monday night.

Northern Bears head coach Steve Young says the Bears got into playing defensively early on.

“We felt it was important to stay with them in the first period. Shot wise, we were close but they got some goals and put us on our heels right away. They are the type of team when you are on your heels they are going to push you. THat’s what they did tonight. We are disappointed with our effort, but give them credit they are a top hockey club and they play like it.”

It would only take just 1:30 for Fraser Valley to open the scoring. 

On a two-on-one break, Leah Barnard would feed Hannah Dodds who would finish things off to give Fraser Valley an early 1-0 edge.

Less than a minute later, the Rush would double the lead as a point shot from Jade Lore would go off the skate of a Bears player and find the back of the net. Daphne Meng got credit for the assist at the 2:18 mark.

Katie Leroux would increase the Fraser Valley lead to 3-0 at the 9:36 mark of the opening period. Hannah Dodds would burst into the zone and would get pokechecked by Bears netminder Brooke Archer, but the puck would go straight on the tape of Leroux who would lift it over the shoulder of Archer into the back of the net.

Prince Albert would find life later in the period on the penalty kill. Kinley Brassard would rifle a shot high glove side past Rush netminder Clara Juca to get the Bears on the board at the 11:35 mark 

Fraser Valley would respond with their own short handed goal at the 17:54 mark. The Rush forecheck would force a PA turnover in their own zone and Daphne Meng would finish the play off to restore the three goal lead.

Before the end of the period, the Rush would extend the lead to four as Vienna Rubin was sprung on a breakaway all alone and she would make no mistake with her second goal of the tournament at the 19:22 mark to give Fraser Valley a 5-1 lead going into the first intermission.

Shots favored the Rush 13-11 in the first period.

Fraser Valley would add four goals in the second period to take a commanding 9-1 lead.

Heading into the third period trailing by eight, Young says the Northern Bears were looking to find a small victory and gain momentum heading into Tuesday’s game.

“We just said going into the third that we need to win that period and work hard. You still have to play, you still have to work hard and you are playing the same team. We set the standards and it’s important that we compete and keep that period close.”

Claudia Lammers received player of the game honors for the Northern Bears.

Young says he was impressed by the effort Lammers showed throughout night despite the result on the scoreboard.

“Claudia is a player with a lot of energy. Anytime she is on the ice, she is creating something even if she doesn’t score. That’s the type of players you need on your team.”

Prince Albert is hoping for a rebound tomorrow night against Team Quebec. Young says there are still things the Bears can take away from the game despite the outcome.

“It’s never easy. You have to learn your lessons though. You can’t look at the score and say tomorrow is a new day. There are lessons we have to learn tonight and take them right into tomorrow so that is how we will deal with the loss.”

Hannah Guttorrmson would leave the game for Prince Albert in the third period with injury and would not return.

THe Bears return to action tomorrow night at 7 p.m. against Étoiles de Laurentides-Lanadière at the Art Hauser Centre