Some games can come back and haunt you later in the season and Friday’s Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League contest might be that one for the Prince Albert A&W Bears.
The Bears were in total control of their match with the visiting Swift Current Wildcats entering the third period. They were up 2-0 and outshooting their opponent almost three-to-one when the walls suddenly came crashing in.
“To be ahead 2-0 after the second period is exactly the position you want to be in in any game,” said a downcast Jeff Willoughby, the Bears’ head coach. “It’s hard to swallow right now.”
Karlie Bell and Dayna Winzer scored three minutes apart early in the final frame and Jessica Pele completed the comeback when she scored in the seventh round of the shootout.
The win moves Swift Current two points ahead of the Bears in the standings with Prince Albert still holding two games in hand. The Bears will look to rebound from the disappointing loss and move past the Wildcats when the same two clubs square off today at 1:30 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.
“We’ll have to make sure we don’t take our foot off the gas,” noted Willoughby. “Two goals isn’t enough in this league. We had 40 shots (actually it was 41); we should have had four or five goals.”
Jessica Lutz had both goals for Prince Albert, who were playing their first game at home in more than a month, with Amy Weightman collecting an assist on both tallies. Jessica Vance was tested just 13 times in the Prince Albert goal while Jasey Book faced 41 blasts in the Swift Current net.
The Bears were shortstaffed on the backend as leading scorer Brooke Hobson sat out the game to complete a two-game suspension she received for checking-from-behind while playing in a tournament in Notre Dame earlier this month. Breanne Neudorf was also not dressed as she is away on a family vacation.
The 14-year-old Hobson, who leads the Bears with nine goals and 12 points, will be back in the line-up today. A Prince Albert win (victories in regulation time are worth three points) would vault the Bears into fourth place past both Swift Current and the Notre Dame Hounds.
Following today’s game, the Bears will break for the Christmas holidays with their first four games in the New Year all coming on home ice.