Sting score in extra frame to win bronze
Brianna Abell of the Central Alberta Sting pushes her way through her Zone 5 Grit opponents during the Icebreaker tournament bronze medal game at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex on Sunday. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
Emily LeMasurier was the overtime hero on Sunday that won the U19 Central Alberta Sting the bronze medal in their Icebreaker tournament.
After falling in the semifinal 7-5 on Saturday, then relinquishing a 3-1 lead in the second period of the bronze medal game, the Sting found the back of the net with 3:20 in the extra frame to win 4-3 at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex.
“It was exciting. We were excited for the girls. We’re a little banged up – we had a few girls that were sick and injured so it was nice to persevere,” said Head Coach Shawn Wagar. “We were patient. We stuck to our game plan and it eventually paid off for us.”
Kianna Doyle opened the scoring for the Sting. Rachel Vandervlis then put them up 2-0 at the 5:52 mark, before Zone 5’s Alanna Drews responded, cutting their lead in half. Sydney Cherniak regained the lead with 39 seconds left in the opening frame.
Zone 5, however, had the momentum after switching ends for the second period. Drews scored her second to once again narrow the Sting lead, while Kennedy Hickey tied the game with 6:40 left.
Neither team was able to score again until the extra five-minute period, where Sting defenceman Madeline Caine picked off a pass from the Zone 5 opposition defence, passed it to Doyle, who then found LeMasurier for the game winner.
“I was a little bit nervous when they tied it up, but as soon as we got into overtime and we had control over the overtime I wasn’t nervous anymore,” said LeMasurier. “The semifinal got away from us. We were tied and then we ended up losing, but it was a good effort by the team this weekend.”
The U19 team lost the bronze in an open tournament in Regina, and more recently won silver at the Woods tournament in Edmonton. The bronze medal in their lone home tournament of the year, along with an 18-8-3 record, puts them in a good position moving towards provincials.
Wagar said he’s happy with their start, and both he and LeMasurier credit the team’s chemistry on and off the ice as being the key to their success.
“We don’t have one all star, we have 17 girls that push really hard,” he said. “They really buy into the game plan. They work extremely hard. More than anything else, they get along. They really mesh well as I team and that’s the reason they’ve been successful.”
Final shots on goal were 38-34 in favour of the Sting.
The Edmonton Elite took the gold in the final, defeating the Calgary Strive 4-3.
The tournament, which saw 22 team and 350 players hit the ice at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex, also saw U14 and U16 divisions play.
The Central Alberta U16 team fell 6-3 to the Calgary Surge in the bronze medal game, while the Calgary Shock won gold after beating the Calgary Riot 7-5.
In the U14 division, Calgary Red took home the gold, St. Albert earned silver, and Zone 2 took the bronze. The Sting placed sixth, falling 10-2 to Calgary White.
Kianna Doyle led the team in points in the tournament with nine, including five goals and four assists. Lacombe’s Sydney Cherniak was right behind her with seven points, including three goals and four assists... LeMasurier led the team in penalty minutes with 10.