Female Team Saskatchewan with Series of Firsts at U18 Nationals
Monday, Nov. 6th, 2017 - This past week the National Women's Under-18 Championship was decided in Quebec City and a series of firsts were accomplished for Team Saskatchewan, both during the preliminaries and the medal round.
From the outset, Team Saskatchewan found themselves in Group B which was comprised of Team Manitoba, Team B.C. and the hosts, Team Quebec. On day one of the tournament, Team Saskatchewan took on Team B.C. It would be Team B.C. prevailing by a score of 2-0 in a tightly defended contest. Goaltender Jordan Ivanco (Saskatoon) would be credited with (30) thirty saves in the losing cause. The following day, Team Saskatchewan would play the hosts, Team Quebec. This game was kicked off with Taylor Kirwan (Gull Lake) scoring the opening goal 4:37 into the first period of play. Goals from Joelle Fiala (Clavet) and Jordyn Holmes (Saskatoon) would solidify a 3-2 victory for the prairie province. The victory also was the first for the team against Team Quebec at this tournament. The final preliminary game was a border battle versus Team Manitoba. A win would increase Team Saskatchewan's chances of a semi-final matchup and the opportunity to play for a medal. The two teams played a scoreless first period before Kennedy Bobyck (Regina) would get the green and white on the board at the 1:49 mark of the 2nd period. Another goal by Bobyck, also Miranda Hatt (Regina) and Allison Hayhurst (Wapella) would finish the scoring as Team Saskatchewan blanked Team Manitoba, score 4-0. At the conclusion of the round-robin, Team Saskatchewan finished 2-0-1, which was strong enough for 2nd in Group B and a berth in the semi-finals.
Group standings after the preliminary round was complete
The matchup for the semi-final put Team Saskatchewan up against the first place Team Ontario Blue from Group A. The offensive fire power for Team Ontario Blue would serve to be a difficult task to manage, as Team Sask. dropped a 6-2 decision. Grace Shirley (Saskatoon) would pick up the two markers for Team Sask. during the game. In the other semi-final, Team Ontario Red would prevail over Team B.C. setting up an all-Ontario final. With Team B.C.’s loss, it would then be a rematch of Team Saskatchewan's opening game versus Team B.C. with Bronze Medal on the line. A classic game would ensue as Team B.C. opened the scoring nine minutes into the 2nd frame. Just before the period ended, Team Saskatchewan's Miranda Hatt (Regina) would answer with only eighteen seconds remaining in the period. A scoreless third period would ultimately lead to 4-on-4 overtime to decide third place in the tournament. With teams trading chances early, Team Saskatchewan would find themselves shorthanded in the extra frame which lead to the eventual overtime goal by Team. B.C. and the west coast province being awarded the Bronze Medal. Team Saskatchewan's Jordan Ivanco (Saskatoon) would stop (48) forty-eight shots and was awarded the games top player for Team Sask. With the overtime loss, Team Saskatchewan would place 4th in the tournament resulting in the team’s best finish at the National Women’s Under 18 Championship, dating back to 2005.
After the Gold Medal game, Team Saskatchewan's captain Taylor Kirwan (Gull Lake) was awarded the Most Sportsmanlike player for the tournament. Congratulations to Kirwan and the rest of Team Saskatchewan's players, coaches and staff for representing the Saskatchewan Hockey Association and the province of Saskatchewan with the outmost class and respect for the game.
Interview with Head Coach Terry Pavely with highlights from Bronze Medal game versus Team B.C.