Mavericks Win The Heart Attack Special
In a game said to include everything - including an alleged dozen near heart attacks, a Zamboni breakdown and a penalty shot in the second overtime - the Moose Jaw Bantam A Mavericks have defeated the Parkland Fire 2 - 1 in game one of the South Division Final in Saskatchewan Women’s Hockey League play on Friday night.
The first period saw the larger Parkland Fire dominating the early play.
The Fire seemed to be able to use their strength to push through and stop the Mavericks early rush. They applied immense initial pressure on the Mavericks.
At the 8:38 mark of the first period the Mavericks started to fight back and tide started to turn against the Fire as Moose Jaw had two great chances along the ice stick side but Fire’s goaltender Marieve Elliott pulled of two great saves ending in two stoppages of play.
The pressure returned when the Maverick’s Ashley Breitkreuz took a wrist hand shot which had Elliott looking behind her as it looked like the shot was in.
Shots on goal were 16 to seven in the Maverick’s favour.
The second period saw continued pressure applied by both teams with the Mavericks having their opportunities but the Fire used their size on many occasions to keep the Moose Jaw squad back where the shots were easily handled by Elliott.
Period shots on goal were 9 to 7 in the Mavericks favour.
The third period saw some brief initial pressure by Parkland but Moose Jaw managed to move the puck up the ice and Ellie Gauvin moved up from the blue line and in the insuing play managed to score assisted by Ashley Breitkritz and Jesse Mielke.
The remainder of the period often saw the Fire turn up the heat and apply pressure which paid off at the 5:01 mark with Alyssa Rasmunson taking a pass from Cadence Canpeau and putting in a low shot past Christmann and ultimately into overtime.
The Red Knight arena rang of cowbells and cheers from the large contingent of fans who had made the trip from the Yorkton and Melville region.
The shots on goal total for the third period were 9 to 7 in the Mavericks favour.
The first overtime period saw Parkland starting to dominate play and the Mavericks had difficulties getting anything going who appeared to be tiring.
Parkland had the best opportunities of the first overtime period although they were out shot by the Mavericks 4 - 3.
With the Zamboni breaking down during the ice cleaning and flood there was an extended intermission.
When play did resume the Fire definitely had the momentum and were for the most part totally dominating the Mavericks. Moose Jaw saw play after play broken up by the Yorkton-Melville regional squad.
With his team being dominated by their opponents Mavericks head coach Stephane Gauvin called a time out to try to get his squad reorganized.
Despite Gavin’s efforts the Fire continued to dominate.
In what was a golden opportunity Ember DuSomme managed to get in behind the Fire’s defensive line and was tripped where she was awarded hockey’s most coveted penalty prize the penalty shot.
Skating in on the forehand DuSomme was stopped by Elliott with a fan reacting “I just had my third heart attack this game.”
After the penalty shot the Fire continued to apply the heat and it seemed that Moose Jaw were on the verge of defeat.
But the Mavericks managed to get into the Fire’s end and then with a maze of players out front and the ensuing scramble Jasmine Kohl managed to find the twine and scored assisted by DuSomme and Stokes.
Shots on goal in the second and final overtime were 10 - 4 in Parkland’s favour.
“We had a real good hockey team for the first 60 minutes,” Coach Gauvin said, adding “int the first and second overtime they were the better team.”
“Our goalie stole it for us in the overtime their goalie stole it for them in the first 60 minutes.”
Asked about the aggressive penalty kill which seemed to put the Fire out during their powerplay opportunities Gauvin said it was part of the team’s game plan.
“It is part of our game to send one of the girls in (when the puck is dumped down the ice) other teams do it as well during their penalty kills.”
Gauvin said the team played well but did admit the play of Christmann during the two overtime periods was what kept the Mavericks in it.
“She was the difference.”
Asked if the team was tired because of the length of the game and facing a much bigger Fire squad, Gauvin said “maybe mentally fatigued. I called a tie out to see what was going on and try to reverse it.”
Regarding if this was the toughest game of the year for the team Gauvin replied “it certainly was one of the hardest games of the year.”
Asked about last season and this season, where last season the Mavericks ran up large goal tallies, and how it compared in this game he replied “it is too hard on the heart.”
The second of the best of three Southern Conference final goes this Sunday in Melville and asked what he saw about that game Gauvin said “if we play like we did the first 60 minutes of this game we will be happy.”
The game plan calls for simple hockey - don’t take chances and sound defensive play.
If a third and deciding game is needed it will be played at the Red Knight Arena - 15 Wing Base Arena - on March 17th at 1:30 pm.