Whitehorse’s female rep hockey team gave goalies a good workout over the weekend.
The Great Canadian Dollar Store Female Mustangs outshot opposing teams 150-38 in their first three games at the Wickenheiser Female World Hockey Festival in Calgary, Alta.
The Mustangs opened with three straight wins before ending with two losses to Alberta’s Stettler Storm.
They finished with second place in the tournament’s Tier 3 midget division.
“The girls played awesome, keeping in mind we have a mix of bantam, peewee and midget players,” said Mustangs head coach Louis Bouchard. “We had a good game against Stettler who was an all midget team – they were big girls. And we were running a short bench with injuries and that caught up to us in the last two games.”
Along with the lopsided shots-on-net ratio came unbalanced scores in the first three games.
The Mustangs opened with a 4-0 win over N.W.T.‘s Yellowknife Wolfpack as Whitehorse logged 35 shots to Yellowknife’s 15.
Whitehorse’s Sierra Oakley scored a hat trick while teammate Devina McLeod also scored and had two assists. Destiny Taylor and Mary McBride had assists.
The Wolfpack got only one shot on net in the first period.
“They just couldn’t break it out of their end,” said Bouchard. “To be fair to N.W.T., they have a team that is similar to ours – peewees and midgets.”
The Mustangs’ bench grew short after game MVP Mykhaila McInroy suffered a broken arm when a hit from behind sent her into the boards with just 20 seconds left in the game.
“That left us short-benched for the rest of the tournament,” said Bouchard. “She’s a tough, tough kid. She didn’t even fall on her knee, just skated off the ice.”
The Mustangs then outshot Alberta’s Airdrie Lightning 47-9 in a 7-1 win. Oakley logged her second hat trick while McLeod put two more in. Maddie Nicholson and Monica Johnson also found the back of the Airdrie net.
Veteran Mustangs forward Oakley finished the tournament with seven goals and two assists, while fellow forward McLeod racked up eight goals and four assists.
“They were able to get that many points because the other lines were working hard and keeping the puck in that end,” said Bouchard.
The Mustangs finished the win-streak with a 10-2 win over Airdrie, piling 68 shots on net.
McLeod had a four-goal game while Maddie Nicholson had two. Taylor, assistant captain Sophie Janke and captain Chyanne Spenner also scored.
“(McLeod) is a new player from Aklavik (N.W.T.) originally and she’s living and going to school here,” said Bouchard. “Apparently part of her reason for moving here is the strength of our hockey program.
“She’s a very good player, nice kid. She’s learning a lot. She’s never played in a rep hockey program before.”
The Stettler Storm then rained a pair of losses onto the Mustangs.
The Storm beat Whitehorse 5-2 in the last round-robin game and then 5-1 in the gold medal game. Shots were 27-21 and 26-21 in favour of Stettler.
“It was closer than the score indicates,” said Bouchard. “We weren’t able to generate enough shots on net to challenge that goalie but we were spending more of our share of time in their end.”
McLeod scored in each game and Oakley notched one last one. Haley McConnell got on the board with an assist.
“Haley McConnell had an awesome tournament,” said Bouchard. “For a girl who just turned 12, she really impressed.”
Mustangs goalie Ali Nordahl secured the shutout in the opener and was in net in the third and fifth games. Abbigail Turner was in net for the other two.
The Wickenheiser tournament, named after Olympic women’s hockey gold-medalist Haley Wickenheiser, was the Mustangs’ first of the season and was the first time the fourth annual event was held outside of Burnaby, B.C.
Whitehorse finished fourth in midget Tier 2 division the last two years. The Female Mustangs, then the Northern Avalanche, competed in the inaugural Wickenheiser tournament in 2010, winning gold in the Tier 3 draw.
“When we were playing this weekend we were keeping a close eye on Tier 2 because we were debating whether or not to register in that division,” said Bouchard. “We can definitely play in Tier 2.”
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