Northern Bears earn first win, weekend split in Weyburn

Herald File Photo. The Prince Albert Northern Bears celebrate a goal earlier this season at the Art Hauser Centre

The Prince Albert Northern Bears got the monkey off their back and earned their first win of the SFU18AAAHL season as part of a weekend split in Weyburn.

Both teams entered the contest after struggling to start the season. Northern Bears head coach Steve Young says they were expecting a challenging contest.

“We knew it would be a tough game. That’s what we need. We can’t assume it’s a team lower in the standings like we are and that it was going to be easier. We went in with the attitude that it was going to be a tough game so to compete and to win one of them was important. I thought we had chances to win two.”

The Northern Bears started the weekend with a 3-2 victory over the Weyburn Richardson Pioneer Gold Wings.

Kaebree Young opened the scoring for the Northern Bears with a power play goal with just under five minutes remaining in the first period.

After neither team could crack the score column in the second period, Raelyn Vezeau extended the Northern Bear lead with her first SFU18AAAHL goal less then three minutes into the third period.

However, Weyburn would not go down with a fight.

Ashton Bender cut the Northern Bear lead in half with a power play goal at the 10:38 mark.

The Gold Wings completed the comeback eight minutes later as Kaydance Ray sniped her first goal of the season past Northern Bears netminder Brooke Archer.

The game winning goal for the Northern Bears came just in the nick of time, literally.

With the game tied at two with less than five seconds remaining in regulation, Kaebree Young deflected a point shot from Kelsey Ledoux past Weyburn goaltender Hailey Sibbald giving the Northern Bears a 3-2 victory.

Young says the win was much needed for the Northern Bears

“Anytime you win, it’s exciting. But for us, we needed that first win, and it made it even more exciting.”

Brooke Archer earned the win in goal for Prince Albert stopping 28 out of 30 Weyburn shots.

Unfortunately, the results of Sunday’s game didn’t prove as fruitful for the Northern Bears as they fell 3-1 to the Weyburn Richardson Pioneer Gold Wings.

Young says the Northern Bears played a solid game Sunday.

“I thought we played okay. Weyburn is a team that is much improved and worked very hard. We did a lot of good things; we weren’t rewarded with our effort. the puck didn’t go in the net. Frustration in that way, to come out with a split is something we will build from.”

The Northern Bears would open the scoring with 12:28 remaining in the first period as Jacquelyne Chief recorded her team leading third goal of the season to give Prince Albert an early lead.

Weyburn would answer back 10 minutes later at the 2:52 mark as Julianne Girardin scored her first goal of the season to even up the score.

The game was tied after one period with Weyburn outshooting Prince Albert 15-7

Weyburn would take the lead just sixteen seconds into the second period as Ashton Bender recorded her second goal of the weekend to give the Gold Wings the lead.

The Gold Wings would add an insurance marker eight minutes into the third period as Julianne Girardin recorded her second goal of the game.

Young says he saw some improvement from the Northern Bears over the weekend.

“Our power play is getting better; our penalty kill is getting better. We are getting some chances which is helping. We have to build off those things, with the understanding is you have to work to do those things.”

The Northern Bears return to action on Saturday afternoon when they host Swift Current at the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drops at 1:30pm.