Northern Bears end first half with shootout win in Saskatoon

Paige Fischer made 28 saves on 30 shots in the Bears 3-2 shootout win over the Stars on Saturday. --Kyle Kosowan/Daily Herald

The Prince Albert Northern Bears are heading into the Christmas break on a high note, after a 3-2 shootout win over the Saskatoon Stars on Saturday.

Julia Cey scored twice in regulation and added the shootout winner as the Bears have now picked up points in four out of their last five games, going 3-1-1-0 in that stretch.

The game started off slow but picked up midway through the first period. After Prince Albert’s Claudia Lammers was sent to the box for body checking, Saskatoon set up on the powerplay. Jocelyn Fiala scored with two seconds left on the advantage for the Stars, and they went up 1-0 with 11:30 left in the first. After 14 games played this season, Fiala finally picked up her first goal of the season.

Saskatoon took their one goal lead into the intermission, holding an 8-3 edge in the shots department as well.

Prince Albert came back nicely in the second period, led by an offensive display from Cey. She scored her first goal of the game 3:20 into the second, tying the game at 1-1 with her seventh of the year.

Six minutes later, Cey potted home her second of the game with a shot that beat Stars starter Tora Ward. The Bears put up 11 shots in the middle frame, and held a 2-1 lead after 40.

Despite holding their lead for most of the third, the Bears gave up the game’s tying goal with 5:21 left in regulation. Keyra Buziak took a pass from Kate Will and beat Paige Fischer with her seventh goal of the season. She also had a goal in the Stars 3-2 win in Prince Albert the night before.

The teams remained deadlocked until the end of regulation, sending the game into overtime. That marked just the second time both teams have needed extra time this season.

After five minutes of 4 on 4 overtime, and another five minutes of 3 on 3, a winner was still not decided, sending both teams to their first shootout of the season.

After Sage Babey was stopped by Fischer to open the shootout, it was no surprise who was sent out to shoot first for the Bears. With two goals in the game and the hot stick, head coach Jeff Willougby sent Cey out to score, and she did just that, beating Ward, and putting the Bears up 1-0 in the penalty shot round.

Fischer stopped Buziak and Avery Bairos as well, securing a 3-2 win over the Stars. Two huge points helped Prince Albert leapfrog the Battlefords Sharks in the standings. Fischer made 28 saves on 30 shots in regulation and overtime, picking up her fourth win of the year.

With a 5-9-1-1 record, Prince Albert sits fifth in league standings heading into the Christmas break. They will kick off the second half of the year on Jan. 8th with a home meeting against the Swift Current Wildcats.