League leading White Lightning (9-3-1) have not lost a game to Blue Steel (5-7-1) all season, but they came within a shot of losing their first in Whitehorse Women’s Hockey League action Wednesday at the Canada Games Centre.
After three periods of goal-packed play, the game went to a shootout, which was left unresolved after three rounds from each team, forcing a tie score due to a lack of ice-time.
“We started off the season pretty rough; we didn’t win a game at the beginning,” said Blue Steel captain Jocelyn Barrett. “But now we’re coming together as a team and everyone is improving.”
As rare a thing shootouts are in league hockey because of stringent ice-times, the game saw another hockey rarity: a four-goal comeback.
After a scoreless second period for Blue Steel, White Lightning began the third with a 6-2 lead before allowing four unanswered goals.
“I’ll admit it, my defence partner (Jenn Grandy) and I were on the whole time,” said White Lightning captain Krystal McKenna. “We didn’t have a break at all, so we were slacking off a little more than we should have been.”
Getting the ball rolling for Blue Steel was Barrett, scoring on a short wrist shot and then a breakaway for her third straight goal of the game. Pulling her team to within a goal was Mary Binsted, taking a cross-ice pass from Pamela Morrissey out of the corner. Steel’s Julia Gemsjaeger then scored her second of the game to tie, slapping a shot through traffic from the blue line.
“A couple players on our team gave a good pep talk and we decided to buckle down and not just give up on the game,” said Barrett. “We came back, so that was a lot of fun.
“We really pulled it together and showed some good team spirit.”
Scoring for the Lightning were Brittinnee Lafferty, Shannon Stotyn and Frederick Janviar-Crete with her first goal of the season.
“She’s definitely improved a lot since the start of the season,” said McKenna, who scored a hat trick. “Now that she’s got her first goal, hopefully there’ll be more to come.”
“Our team is great, we joke a lot and have a lot of fun. We try to help each other out and talk out on the ice as much as possible.”
“The women’s league is great, so I’m encouraging all the women (in Whitehorse) to think about hockey next year,” said Barrett. “We could always use more players – a fifth team would be great.”
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