With the new point structure being adopted in the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League season this year every point is important.
The Prince Albert A&W Bears wanted to make sure they got everything that was available to them and they did just that with a 3-2 win over the Notre Dame Hounds on Sunday at the Kinsmen Arena.
“We got the three points today which was huge,” said Bears’ head coach Jeff Willoughby. “From today to yesterday (Saturday) the difference was moving the puck around. Puck possession was the key to today’s win even though we battled the penalty box again.”
The Bears and Hounds had also played to a 3-2 finish on Saturday at the Art Hauser Centre, but Notre Dame won in a shootout. With the new point structure, Prince Albert got just four of a possible six points as three points are awarded for a regulation win and two for a victory in overtime or a shootout. The losing team in extra time gets just a single point.
Amy Weightman, Tylor Lindsay and Kendra Winny scored for the Bears on Sunday while Lindsay had both goals in Saturday’s loss. Prince Albert now has a 2-2-2-1 record to sit in fourth place in the standings.
Shayla Youngman, a 15-year-old rookie netminder from Saskatoon, recorded her second win in a week as she also picked up the victory last weekend in the Battlefords. Jessica Vance suffered the loss on Saturday despite turning aside 28 of 30 shots and four of five in the shootout.
The Bears now take to the road for an extended period of time as they have just one home game – Nov. 13 against the Saskatoon Stars – between now and Dec. 20. Prince Albert travels to Regina next weekend for a doubleheader against the defending league champion Rebels, a team that beat the Bears twice in Prince Albert earlier this month.
“Facing Regina next weekend we have to answer back,” says Willoughby. “They took six points away from us so getting anything less than three or four will be disappointing.”
“We’ve been kind of spoiled with all of these homes,” added Willoughby in reference to the Bears having played six of their first seven games on home ice. “Hopefully we can figure out all the indifference that come with being on the road.”
In addition to having eight of their next nine games on the road, the Bears will also be competing at the annual tournament in Notre Dame in early December. There is also a week break at the start of November so players from the league who made Team Saskatchewan can travel to Calgary for the national under-18 women’s hockey championship. Prince Albert will be well represented on the provincial squad as Vance and defenseman Brooke Hobson have made the team.