Northern Bears drop final game before Christmas break to Swift Current

Photo by Nathan Reiter. Prince Albert Northern Bears forward Sasha Malenfant handles the puck during SFU18AAAHL action at the Art Hauser Centre

The Prince Albert Northern Bears couldn’t complete a weekend sweep as they fell 4-1 to the Swift Current Wildcats during SFU18AAAHL action Sunday afternoon at the Art Hauser Centre

Bears head coach Steve Young says that Prince Albert played well, despite the result on the scoreboard.

“I thought we did the right things to win a hockey game, obviously we came up short which is disappointing. We knew this is a team we had to get in and get some shots on and their goalie made some big saves.”

Young adds the Northern Bears have taken some steps in a positive direction as a team throughout the season.

“We made some development for sure. There’s been some disappointing games where we felt we should’ve won, but that’s hockey. There’s going to be adversity. I feel we’ve taken some good building steps and the second half is only going to be harder.”

The visiting Wildcats would open the scoring with a power play goal just over three minutes into the game. Jerzey Watteyne would pot her 16th goal of the season in only her 18th game to give Swift Current a 1-0 lead.

Sunday afternoon was the teddy bear toss game for the Northern Bears and the fur came flying from the stands at the Art Hauser Centre with 11:34 remaining in the middle frame. Julia Cey would get the game tying and teddy bear toss goal assisted by Kassie Ferster and Kelsey Ledoux.

“It was really cool. It was exciting. It got our team going for the second period for sure. Having my linemates, they really set up for that goal so it was a great line effort and it was exciting to see everything thrown [on the ice].”

Swift Current would take the lead back with only 1:47 remaining with Sadie Keller’s wrist shot beating Bears netminder Annika Neufeldt to give the Wildcats a 2-1 advantage after 40 minutes.

Addison Eurich would extend the lead for the Wildcats to 3-1 in the third period with 7:17 remaining. Watteyne and Tess Bakus would pick up the assists on the goal.

Sadie Keller would ice it for the Wildcats with an empty net goal with 1:02 remaining to give Swift Current a 4-1 victory.

Prince Albert product Karlee Lehner made 39 saves in goal to earn the win for Swift Current. Annika Neufeldt made 22 saves for the Northern Bears.

The Northern Bears will take a pause for the Christmas break before returning to action on Jan. 7, 2023 when they welcome the Weyburn Gold Wings to the Art Hauser Centre.