Moose Jaw Pee Wee Mavericks Eliminated

Robert Thomas

Despite a third period offensive explosion, the Moose Jaw Pee Wee Mavericks were unable to catch and defeat the Southwest Cyclones in South Saskatchewan Female Hockey League action Friday night.

The Mavericks fell 6 – 4 as the Cyclones managed to cement a win and take best of three series win two games to none. The Pee Wee Mavericks season is now officially over.

Early pressure and a well rested Mavericks squad led to the team earning it's only lead of the game.

Ashley Breitkreuz picked up the loose puck and skated across the front of the net and then scored from a sharp angle, banking the shot off of Cyclones’ goalie Mya Ruschowski left arm at 18:42 of the 1st Period.  

The Mavericks had a couple more good opportunities as the team’s regular season top point getter, Meilke, had a breakaway at 17:00 mark and was stopped when a string wrist hand shot hit Ruschowski on the left arm.

The Cyclones almost immediately turned the momentum around as Mavericks Callie Callaghan had to hustle back to prevent Alexa Hidelbaugh from having a breakaway.

But the Cyclones would not be denied as a shot in close by Katie McPhee led to a rebound Hidelbaugh was able to bang in past Mavericks goalie Schay Campaug tying the score one all at 14:55.

Less than a minute later, the Cyclones took the lead for good as Lily Wilson scored in a scramble at 14:02 assisted by Cassidy Funk. After a series of shots it appeared Campaug had made the save but the puck barely eased across the goal line.

The Mavericks threatened as Meilke hustled and managed to get a pass over to Jasmine but Ruschowski made a good glove save on the wrist shot at the 11:09 mark.

The 2nd period would be literally dominated by the Cyclones.

A breakaway by Kyla Benjamin after a neat pass by Emmerson Sommer led to a third Cyclones goal at 18:17 although Campaug got a piece of the shot almost making the save.

The Cyclones added to their lead as Sadie Keller scored at 13:23 assisted by Hidelbaugh. A break down the right wing left Campaug to cover a wide open Cyclone player as Keller shot instead of passing.

In what had to be the shot of the game from about 40 feet out Meilke sent a rocket wrist hand shot off the post and in at the 12:56 mark assisted by Kohl and Sadie Hughes.

The Cyclones’ Benjamin would score the game winner at 2:48 assisted by Sommer who would go in from the left wing then make a centering pass out front.

After what was called a “lay it on the line” pep talk the Mavericks came out strong in the third period. 

At the 19:00 mark Meilke would take one of her patented hard wrist shots only to be stopped by a Ruschowski blocker save.

The Mavericks though would find the back of the net at 16:34 as Meilke fanned on a breakaway shot fooling Ruschowski as the puck slid along the ice and up into the net assisted by Hughes and Kohl.

The fourth Mavericks goal in the come back bid came at 13:08 when Kohl was able to do the wrap around and score on the out of position  Ruschowski assisted by Meilke and Jadyn Palaschuk.

Campaug had to come up big to keep Moose Jaw in it as Sommer had a near breakaway at 5:39.

Kohl took a shot about the 3:30 mark but the rebound eluded Meilke and she was unable to tie the game.

A noticeably tired Mavericks squad pulled Campaug with 1:10 to go and despite some initial pressure were unable to put the puck in the Cyclones’ net.

With 12.2 seconds left Mya Girard would score into an empty Mavericks net assisted by Benjamin.

“Unfortunately that's the end of our season,” said Mavericks head coach Jeff Palaschuk.

Asked what was said to ignite the Mavericks for the third period Palaschuk said they simply told the girls to do their best.

“We actually just told the girls before the third period to lay it on the line. This is it, this is the last period and they did. They played hard in the third period,” he said.

The last few minutes of the game saw a tired Mavericks squad who only had nine skaters versus 15 for the Cyclones.

“We tried to get a whistle in the last two minutes to take a time out to rest the girls,” Pakaschuk said about the final push to tie and hopefully win the game.

About the Mavericks overall season Palaschuk said the team struggled initially but after making it to the A side final in the Prince Albert tournament the team had excelled.

“The last two months we have been playing really good hockey.”

Losing in the first round of the playoffs in two straight games was no indication of how hard the team had played.

“The played really hard and gave it their best. We were up against a second place team we had beaten a week ago 7 – 4. I feel like we should still be playing. It wasn't that we didn't give an effort we are very proud of them” Palaschuk stated.

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