The Prince Albert Northern Bears got back into the win column with a 4-0 shutout victory over the Battlefords Sharks in SFU18AAAHL action Thursday night at the Art Hauser Centre.
Neither team would score in the first period as the visiting Sharks would lead the shots through the first twenty minutes 7-5.
Bears head coach Steve Young says the team was a bit hesitant to start out the game.
“I think we tested the waters a bit early, I know from our last game that it wasn’t a good game. We were overcautious in the first period. As the game got on, we got better. Hopefully tomorrow, we will be where we want to be.”
Just nineteen seconds into the second period, Julia Cey would strike for her team leading 13th goal of the season to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. Jasmine Kohl and Jacquelyne Chief assisted on the play.
The Bears would get another opportunity as Cey would find herself in a partial breakaway and she would snipe her second goal of the game top shelf past Sharks netminder Taylor Enns to double the Prince Albert lead at 2-0 at the 15:01 mark of the second period.
The Bears were coming off a 10-0 loss in Saskatoon in their previous game back on Valentine’s Day.
Young says he thought the Bears showed some character in bouncing back after a tough loss in Thursday’s game.
“I think it was a step. For us to play a game like that, you have two options. You either sit and feel sorry for yourself or get up and get going. We’ve chosen the route to get going and hopefully in the next three games we play hard and keep playing as well as we can.”
It would be a pair of power play goals in the third period to give the Northern Bears some crucial breathing room.
Tristyn Endicott would rip a point shot through traffic and past Enns to make it 3-0 Prince Albert at the 8:39 mark of the third period. Cassie Ferster and Jacquelyne Chief assisted on the play.
The second Northern Bears power play goal would come from an unlikely source as Hannah Guttormson found the back of the net for the first time this season with just 2:50 to go in the final frame. Chief and Kohl would pick up their second assists of the night on the play.
The win provides some confidence to the Northern Bears after a game they’d like to forget in Saskatoon
Bears forward Taelyr Ballard says the win was huge for morale for the team.
“I think it’s good for us to go into our next games with a win. We had a couple losses and these wins will give us confidence for our next games coming up.”
Brooke Archer would stand tall in the Northern Bear crease making 24 saves on route to her first shutout of the season. Archer has two career shutouts in her SFU18AAAHL career both coming against the Battlefords Sharks. Her first career shutout came back on Feb. 10, 2022 in the Battlefords.
Taylor Enns would make 39 saves for the Sharks in the loss.
The two teams will play again on Friday night in the final home game of the regular season for the Northern Bears.
Ballard, a graduating player, says she is looking forward to leaving everything she has on the ice.
“It seems the season went by fast so I’m just excited to get out there and play with the girls and play my heart out and go have fun.”
The Northern Bears return to action on Friday night in a rematch against the Battlefords Sharks. Puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.