Bears sweep the Sharks to grab third place

Bears wrap up 2018 with pair of wins over Battlefords

Captain Abby Soykp sweeps in past the Sharks' Ali Aitkin just before scoring the final goal for the Prince Albert Northern Bears in Saturday afternoon action. Photo by Marjorie Roden

Marjorie Roden/Herald Contributor

Staying true to the word of Abby Soyko, captain of the Prince Albert Northern Bears AAA Female Midget hockey team, the home team kept up with the positive energy, vaulting them into an 8-2 victory over the Battleford Sharks on Saturday night’s matinee action. By taking this victory, the Bears vaulted over the Sharks and took sole possession of third place in the league before the Christmas break.

The game opened with a goal off the tape of Brooklyn Anderson’s stick at 39 seconds into the game. The Sharks’ Sydney Rowley responded with an even strength marker of her own at 2:42. The Sharks had the opportunity to score on the power play at the 6:53 mark when the Bears received a penalty, but the Bears’ strong defence only allowed one shot to get through to goaltender Scout Anderson. The Bears took the lead at 11:07 as Kate Ball put one in past Hailey Biever, but the Sharks took advantage of their next power play and tied the game up at 18:51 with a goal from Brooklyn Rowley. By the end of the period, the Bears were outshooting the Sharks 17 to 7. Also, the Bears had earned another penalty with 34 seconds left in the opening period, which completed in the second period.

Even being shorthanded, the Bears scored 45 seconds into the second period, on their first shot of the period, off the stick of Haley Kicia. The play remained fairly even until the 8:26 point when the Sharks got called for high sticking. The Bears’ power play clicked as Tori MacDonald popped in a point shot from about 20 feet out, just before the penalty expired. A screened shot off the tape of Kate Ball, which was her second of the night, came at 13:05. The Sharks got another penalty and the Bears took full advantage, with Jasper Demarais scoring from just below the hashmarks, directly in front of goaltender Biever at 14:02. The period rounded out with a goalmouth scramble at the 18:29 mark when Ali Soyko scored.

Head coach Jeff Willoughby said, “I think after the first two periods, we had the same amount of shots as yesterday, and I think five or six more goals (than Friday night), so it just goes to show how much you look after details about screening the goalie, trying to deflect, and making the goalie move made a difference.”

The third period was rough all around for the Sharks, as they did receive a power play at 4:16, and appeared to score at the 4:23 mark, but the goal was disallowed. Then, a very scary moment took place at the 7:39 mark as a pair of players – a Bear and a Shark – took an odd tumble into the boards. Ensley Fendelet from the Sharks lay unconscious on the ice for a couple of minutes, with the trainers from both teams coming to her aide.

Eventually, she had to be helped off the ice by a pair of teammates. Though the Sharks did hold things together for most of the period following the play, the Bears’ captain Soyko did round out the scoring.

“Our power play can always use some work, but I think our penalty kill did really good,” said Brooklyn Anderson after the game. The Bears scored on both of their power plays.

About the special teams, Willoughly said, “It’s always nice getting the power play going, sometimes when you need it. It was a good effort and I’m glad the girls got rewarded!”
Continuing on the topic of the special teams, Brooklyn Anderson added,

“We blocked a lot of shots and we just kept them to the outside (when shorthanded).”

The Bears won’t be seeing any more action until 2019, when they travel to play against the Notre Dame Hounds.