Bears hang on to beat Wildcats

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Rhea Peterson of the Prince Albert Northern Bears, left, and Morgan Coward of the Swift Current Wildcats battle for position during a race for the puck at the Art Hauser Centre last season.

The first game back from the Christmas break was a successful one for the Prince Albert Northern Bears as they picked up a 5-4 win over the Swift Current Wildcats at the Art Hauser Centre Friday night.

However, things were much closer than they would have liked as the Bears saw a 5-2 lead vanish in the third period and found themselves in a six-on-four situation late as captain Brooklyn Anderson was called for boarding with 1:13 to go.

“We just have to make sure that we don’t give up and that we are always battling hard, no matter what the situation is,” Bears forward Paris Oleksyn said. “We kept our heads up when we had to kill the penalty there and our hard work paid off.

“We have three big points from our first game back after the holidays and hopefully we can keep that up in these next two games against Swift Current this weekend.”

Oleksyn led the way for the 10-7-1 Bears as she had two goals and an assist.

“I thought we really worked well as a team in the first two periods,” Oleksyn said. “We communicated well and we had a good idea of where we were on the ice, which helped us out a lot.”

Jasper Desmarais, Kailey Ledoux and Anderson also scored for the hosts and Janae Neufeld made 21 saves.

Baylee Kirwan had two goals and an assist for the 11-2 Wildcats, who had a goal and an assist each from Sara Kendall and a two-assist showing by Brooklyn Rublee.

Ashlee Wolfe had the other goal for the visitors, while Amaya Giraudier stopped 22 shots.

The two sides will square off again at 5 p.m. on Saturday, with the final game of the weekend tripleheader taking place at 1 p.m. Sunday.