Although the game ended with an even, scoreless third period, the scoreboard was not so balanced with the Avalanche downing the Red Rockets 5-1.
The Avalanche victory is dubious, having borrowed the Rockets’ Cheryl Rivest, who scored a hat trick including the first goal and the subsequent game winner. The temporary trade was the result of a shortage of players on the Rockets’ bench.
“Because of Christmas everyone seems to be heading off,” said Rockets defenceman Nancy Campbell. “(And) it’s pretty cold out.”
Despite the scoring three goals, Rivest does not believe familiarity with Rockets goalie Sharon Specht provided her with much of an advantage.
“The only advantage is that I get — shooting on Specht — is that we used to play together years ago,” said Rivest. “It was many, many years ago.”
The Rockets’ lone goal came with 13:37 left in the second on only one of two shots put on the Avalanche net in the period. Ripping down the right wing on a bit of a break, Pamela Harris cut in and lifted the puck between the leg pad and the glove of Avalanche net minder Nancy Pumphrey to make it 3-1.
“Pam has played for quite a few years; she’s a really good player,” said Rivest of her teammate. “She’s tenacious — she gets to the puck. She’s got it all; she’s got good skating, good puck handling, good shot. When I get to play with my team I like playing with her.”
Other than Rivest’s redirection on a shot by Campbell midway through the first, all of the game’s goals came in the second. The fruitless third was the most balanced of the periods, leaving some to suggest fatigue had crept in.
“It’s a short bench, so everyone is getting tired,” said Campbell. “People are losing their legs.
“It’s more of a scrimmage anyway, it wasn’t a serious game by any means.”
“Sure, a little bit of it is going to be fatigue,” said Rivest. “A little bit of it is going to be that everybody – usually about the third period — starts to settle down and play their positions. Because you are tired, you start thinking about where you’re going, what you’re doing and how you’re going to get back there again.”
Avalanche’s Jen Olsen scored right off a face-off with 15:17 left in the second to make it 3-0. After Rivest got her third, Jenn Grandy capped the Avalanche’s scoring with a final goal late in the period.
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