Bears sweep weekend series with Sharks

Daily Herald File Photo Prince Albert Northern Bears captain Abby Soyko is the new franchise leader in points after she picked up two assists this weekend against the Battlefords Sharks.

The Prince Albert Northern Bears returned home with a pair of victories this weekend over the Battlefords Sharks.

In a pair of back and forth affairs at the Battleford Arena, the Bears came from behind for a 3-2 overtime triumph Saturday and followed that up with a 3-1 win Sunday to improve to 4-0 in Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League play.

“I thought it was a hard fought effort by both teams in each game,” Bears head coach Jeff Willoughby said. “We ran into some penalty trouble that broke the flow we wanted to keep, but we were able to find a way to get the wins.”

“The goaltenders on both sides were exceptional and our hats go off to them, especially with the amount of scoring changes each team had.”

Down 2-0 after 40 minutes of play Saturday, the Bears were able to force overtime on goals by Tobi Fontaine and Miranda Heidt.

They would complete the comeback in the second extra frame as Kate Ball found the back of the net during a three-on-three situation.

“I think our persistence really showed at the end of the game as it started to look like we weren’t going to come away with any points,” Willoughby said. “The girls reacted well to having their backs against the wall, and it showed with the opportunities they generated on offence.”

Abby Soyko had an assist on Ball’s game-winner, which moved her ahead of Kelly Regnier for the most points in franchise history with 102.

“Abby and Kate were our two best players in that game,” Willoughby said. “Whenever they get going and have the support from their teammates, it’s always a positive for us.”

Lexi Beuker made 27 saves for the Bears, while Haylie Biever turned aside 50 shots for the Sharks.

Brooklyn Rowley and Madison Sansom replied for the hosts.

Heidt had a goal and an assist for the Bears in Sunday’s triumph, which saw Ball dish out a pair of helpers.

Paige Dawson and Macdonald also scored, while Scout Anderson stopped 26 shots.

Rowley had the lone goal for the Sharks, who received a 37-save showing from Biever.

The Bears are now off for two weeks before they travel to the provincial capital to face the Regina Rebels on Oct. 27 and 28.

“One of the biggest things we want to improve on is the amount of minor penalties we take,” Willoughby said. “We have a set goal of the number of penalties we want to have in an individual game, and we’ve only achieved that once so far this year.

“You want to play hard out there, but you have to play smart and stay within the rules.”

The Rebels will begin their season this weekend against the Swift Current Wildcats.