Three-goal performance for Ball as Bears sweep Wildcats

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Prince Albert Northern Bears forward Kate Ball recorded her second career hat trick Sunday in a 9-1 win over the Swift Current Wildcats.

No matter the situation Sunday, Kate Ball was able to find the back of the net.

The Prince Albert Northern Bears forward scored an even strength and shorthanded goal in the opening 10 minutes and earned her second career hat trick on a power play goal in the third period as her team cruised to a 9-1 win over the Swift Current Wildcats Sunday.

“It felt good to help the team get the lead early in the game as it gave our team a nice boost,” Ball said.

“It was nice to help the team out as we finished off the weekend strong with a win.”

Thanks to her three goal afternoon, in addition to finding the net in Saturday’s 5-2 home win over the Wildcats, the future Saskatchewan Huskies player has eight goals and nine assists in 10 games to sit fourth in the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League scoring race with 17 points.

It’s been a strong start to the 2018-19 season for members of the Ball family, as Kate’s older brother Justin is second in scoring in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League with 42 points in 26 games.

“It’s hard to try and live up to what he’s doing at times, but I try my best.” Ball smiled. “Justin’s someone I look up to a lot and he’s doing really well with Melfort.

“Personally, I feel a lot more confident this year. My linemates are helping me out a lot and I put in a lot work over the summer with my training.”

Although the shots were 31-30 in favour of the Bears, the hosts controlled the affair as they scored four goals in the first 20 minutes and never looked back.

“Being back at home gives us more confidence against other teams,” Ball said.

“When we were playing away from home for the last couple of months, we weren’t doing the things that make us a good team.”

Miranda Heidt had a goal and two assists in the win for the Bears, while Kailey Ledoux and Abby Soyko had a pair of helpers.

Pairs Oleksyn, Alli Soyko and Tobi Fontaine also had two-point afternoons for the hosts, who also got goals from Jaydn Kushniruk and Paige Dawson.

Scout Anderson made 29 saves to earn the victory, with her only blemish coming on a first period goal from blueliner Maddy McCleary.

Amaya Girauider turned aside 22 shots for the Wildcats, who are in sixth place in the league with a 3-6-1 record.

Next up for the 7-4-1 Bears, who are currently third in the standings, is a weekend series at the Art Hauser Centre against the 12-0 Saskatoon Stars.

“If we keep passing the puck like we did against Swift Current, I think we will be in good shape against Saskatoon,” Ball said.

“We kept with Saskatoon in our last game against them (in a 3-2 overtime affair on Nov. 11) so if we play like we did then, we should have a chance.”

The two sides will square off Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.