Bears take 2-0 series lead vs. Sharks

Battlefords Sharks goalie Chloe Burt tries to corral the puck against Jordan Ashe and Rhea Peterson of the Prince Albert Northern Bears Oct. 7, 2017 at the Art Hauser Centre. -- Evan Radford/Daily Herald

Hockey club set for game 3, potential elimination match Friday at Art Hauser Centre

After a Wednesday night road win, the Prince Albert Northern Bears are one win away from advancing to this year’s female Midget AAA hockey league semifinals.

The P.A. club dropped the Battlefords Sharks 2-1 Wednesday in the Sharks’ home rink to take a two games to none lead in the best-of-five playoff series.

“I thought we played a faster game,” Bears alternate captain Jordan Ashe said, comparing the Wednesday game to her team’s first playoff win against the Sharks on Monday.

“We completed more passes, and we had a better passing game,” she said.

The teams skated to a scoreless first period, with the Bears leading the shout count 12-8.

P.A. took an early lead to start the second period: Allie Soyko netted a short-handed goal at 1:07 of the period, and 49 seconds later Camryn Amundson scored an even-strength marker to put the Bears up 2-0.

After that, the second frame was a rough one, according to the game’s score sheet.

The Bears took seven penalties while the Sharks took three. Bears forward Brooklyn Anderson and Sharks forward Sydney Rowley were both ejected for fighting, earning five-minute majors and game misconduct penalties.

After that fight at 12:12 of the period, the Bears took four more consecutive penalties before the end of the period.

In her mind, Ashe said those penalties stifled her team’s rhythm and flow during the frame, which made it hard for the Bears to tally any more points.

That in turn challenged P.A. netminder Lexi Beuker to hold the line for the Bears. A challenge that she met, according to the defenceman. “She stood on her head.”

Beuker finished the game with 30 saves on 31 Sharks’ shots.

In the third period, each team cooled down their frequency of infractions; the Bears took two penalties, while the Sharks took one.

Battlefords managed to get on the score sheet, with an even-strength goal from Keara Amson at 3:05.

After that, Beuker and the Bears held the score for the 2-1 win.

The Bears and the Sharks play game three of their series Friday in Prince Albert at 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.

Looking to that game, Ashe said her team needs to be “more defensively safe. We have to work on our d-zone play.”

She explained that doesn’t mean there are necessarily problems with the team’s defensive game plan, just that it needs to be further tightened.

Ashe also gave a nod to the challenge that the Sharks’ heavily physical style of play brings to the round one playoff series.

“It’s more than what some of the other teams in the league do,” she said.