Daily Herald Staff
The Prince Albert A&W Bears continue to do their part as they try and claim the No. 2 seed for the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League playoffs.
With the Weyburn Gold Wings having recorded wins over the Melville Prairie Fire and Notre Dame Hounds earlier in the week, the Bears needed to go into Saskatoon on Sunday and get a win over the Stars to keep pace.
Thanks to a 30-save performance from Jessica Vance the Bears did just that as their 1-0 win moves them to within two points of the Gold Wings with Prince Albert still having a game in hand.
Not only did the 16-year-old Vance stop everything the Stars fired at her, she also collected an assist on the lone Bears goal, scored by Amy Weightman during a second-period power-play. Vance’s counterpart in the Saskatoon goal, Prince Albert product Karlee Fetch, also had a strong performance stopping 34 Bears’ blasts.
For Vance, who already has set the standard for most minutes played by a goalie in the eight-year history of the league, Sunday’s result moved her to within one of Samantha Langford for the most shutouts in a career. Vance now has four this season and 11 in total as she completes her fourth year with the Bears.
The Bears, who have won six in a row and eight of their last 10 with both losses coming in a shootout, head to Melville next weekend for a doubleheader against the Prairie Fire.
Prince Albert will be looking to move ahead of Weyburn with a weekend sweep as the Gold Wings don’t return to action until Feb. 15-16 when the Bears complete their regular season with a visit to the southern centre for another twinbill.
Sandwiched between the two out-of-town series is the Bears’ final home game on Feb. 12 against Saskatoon. Prince Albert, which cannot catch the first-place Regina Rebels, could still finish as low as sixth place, but a strong push in their final five games will get them home-ice advantage for the first two rounds, should they overtake Weyburn.