Successful return home for Bears

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Prince Albert Northern Bears blueliner Paige Dawson slows down Swift Current Wildcats forward Taylor Lind during the third period Saturday at the Art Hauser Centre.

It didn’t take long for the Prince Albert Northern Bears to get reacclimatized to the Art Hauser Centre.

In their first home game since Sept. 30, Jadyn Kushniruk and Kailey Ledoux found the back of the net in the opening 14 minutes as the Bears picked up a 5-2 win Saturday night over the Swift Current Wildcats.

“We played well right off the hop,” Bears head coach Jeff Willoughby said. “We had good puck possession early and that really fed into the rest of our game.

“We kept our feet moving and made good passes, which we carried over into the second period.”

It was a spread out offensive attack for the Bears, who improved their record to 6-4-1.

Rhea Peterson, Paris Oleksyn and Kate Ball all scored in the final two periods, while Brooklyn Anderson led the way with a pair of assists.

“It’s a nice feeling when you don’t know who is going to get that next goal,” Willoughby said.

“In the past, our core group has shared the scoring around, and we kept that in mind when we built the lines this year. We want everyone to chip in on offence, and that includes our blueliners.”

Lexi Beuker was solid in goal as she turned aside 24 shots, with her best stop coming at the end of the second period as she made a sprawling stick save to rob Wildcats captain Taylor Lind on a breakaway opportunity during a power play.

“That was a key moment for us,” Willoughby said. “If they score there and make it 4-2, that changes things quite a lot as we head into the third.”

Lind led the Wildcats on offence with two assists, while Sara Kendall and Crystal Wale found the back of the net.

Harper Davey made 24 saves for the visitors, who now have a 3-5-1 mark.

The two sides will be back in action Sunday at the Art Hauser Centre at 1 p.m.