Vance makes history in leading Bears to weekend sweep over Melville

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Dave Leaderhouse
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Prince Albert A&W Bears forward Tylor Lindsay works to get around a Melville defender during Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League action on the weekend. Lindsay had a goal and two assists in helping Prince Albert win 4-1 on Saturday and she also had a hand in the Bears completing the sweep as she had an assist in a 1-0 decision on Sunday.

Jessica Vance is only 16 years old, but already she is a part of Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League history.

The Prince Albert netminder backstopped the A&W Bears to 4-1 and 1-0 triumphs over the Melville Prairie Fire on the weekend and in the process became the longest tenured puck stopper in league history.

Vance’s 120 minutes of work gives the four-year veteran 3,703 minutes between the pipes for her career surpassing another Prince Albert goalie, Jacey Akre, who had 3,631 minutes of work with the Battlefords Sharks from 2010-13.

Vance is also closing in on another bit of history as her shutout on Sunday was the 10th of her career moving her to within two of Samantha Langford who had 12 with the Regina Rebels and Notre Dame Hounds during her time at the Midget AAA level.

From a team perspective, the weekend sweep was even more important as the Bears keep pace with the Weyburn Gold Wings in the battle for second place in the overall standings.

The weekend results improves Prince Albert’s record to 10-5-3-3 and leaves them two points back of Weyburn as the Gold Wings completed a sweep of their own when they blanked the Saskatoon Stars 4-0 on Sunday.

“It was a much-needed six points (each win is worth three points in regulation time),” said Bears’ head coach Jeff Willoughby. “Weyburn did their part and we’re staying with them.”

Prince Albert did all of its scoring on the weekend via special teams.

In Saturday’s victory, the Bears went 3-for-3 with the man-advantage and also collected a shorthanded marker while Sunday’s lone goal also came while Prince Albert was on a power play.

Breanne Neudorf, with her first-ever goal at the Midget AAA level, in her 70th game, Ireland South, Brooke Hobson and Tylor Lindsay scored for Prince Albert on Saturday while Crystal Berube got the lone goal of Sunday’s game.

Vance faced just 41 shots on the weekend and after stopping 40 of them lowered her goals-against average to 1.79 and raised her save percentage to .938. She needed to make just 15 saves on Sunday for her third shutout of the season.

Prince Albert directed 83 shots at the Melville goal on the weekend including 46 on Sunday. Willoughby admits there are times when he gets a bit nervous from the lack of goal production.

“We’d like to see four or five shots go in out of that total,” laughed Willoughby. “If we keep attacking the net and see the goal total raised, we’ll be a tough opponent.”

BEARS NOTES: Prince Albert has now won its last four games and six out of its last eight with both losses coming in a shootout…Lindsay figured in on four of the five goals scored by Prince Albert on the weekend. The 16-year-old from Casa Rio had a pair of assists to go with her goal on Saturday and she also set up Berube’s marker on Sunday…Prince Albert, which holds a game in hand on Weyburn, will make that up on Wednesday when they finish off a six-game homestand with a game against the Batlefords at 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre. A Prince Albert win in regulation time will vault them past the Gold Wings into sole possession of second place. The Bears will have just six games remaining after Wednesday’s tilt with five of those coming on the road.

 

Organizations: Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League, Art Hauser Centre

Geographic location: Notre Dame, Ireland South

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