Bears shutout Gold Wings in weekend series

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Tori MacDonald skates by the Prince Albert Northern Bears bench after scoring a goal on Sunday at the Art Hauser Centre.

The Prince Albert Northern Bears are headed into a month-long break from league play with a perfect record still intact thanks to two strong performances by their goalies.

Janae Neufeld stopped 21 shots on Saturday and Dani Day made 19 saves Sunday as the Northern Bears improved to 3-0 in the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League with 5-0 and 3-0 triumphs over the Weyburn Gold Wings at the Art Hauser Centre.

“Any time that you can get in this league, it’s an accomplishment, and to get a shutout just adds to that,” Bears head coach Jeff Willoughby said.

“It’s good for both of our goalies to have that early on in the season and I think that’s going to help them out a lot going forward.”

Although the Bears find themselves in second in the standings with a perfect and are three points back of the 4-0 Swift Current Wildcats for the league lead, captain Brooklyn Anderson believes there’s still some room for improvement.

“I think our team has a lot of potential and we’re not quite where I think we can be at the start of the season, but I’m still impressed by a lot of the things that we are doing,” Anderson said.

“Our rookies have a lot of speed, which helps us out a lot on offence, but I think we can still improve a bit with our defensive play.”

Anderson had a pair of goals in Sunday’s victory, which saw Tori MacDonald score a goal and set up another.

Paris Olekysn led the way on Saturday with two goals and an assist, while McKenzie Mayo, Kiara Stewart and Jasper Desmarais also lit the lamp.

Chloe Burt turned aside 29 shots in Saturday’s contest and Lexi Peace made 39 saves on Sunday for the 0-2 Gold Wings.

“Weyburn gave us a good fight in both games,” Willoughby said. “They never went away no matter what the score was.”

While the Bears don’t have another league game until Friday, Nov. 8 in Weyburn, the team will be in action next Tuesday night at the Art Hauser Centre for a 6:50 p.m. exhibition contest with the Lloydminster Steelers.

“That game with Lloydminster will help us a lot with this break that we have,” Anderson said.

“Having a month off is something that we’re not used to, so a lot of time at practice is going to be spent on working on game-like situations.”