Daily Herald Staff
There is one piece of the Saskatchewan Female Midget Hockey League semifinal picture missing and the Prince Albert A&W Bears hope to complete the puzzle on Thursday when they host the Notre Dame Hounds at 6 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.
The Bears will try and complete a sweep of the Hounds after winning the first two games 3-2 in double overtime on Saturday in Prince Albert and 3-1 in Wilcox on Monday.
The Bears and Hounds split the season series with each team winning twice and the close checking and great goaltending has carried over into the post season.
In the opening game, Prince Albert led 2-1 with time running out, but the Hounds continued to press and scored the equalizer with 1.5 seconds remaining on the clock. On Monday, the Bears scored three times in the final 10 minutes to record the win and move them one step closer to the next round.
Tylor Lindsay, like in the regular season, has feasted on the Hounds as the 16-year-old winger has three goals and two assists in the first two games after collecting three goals and one helper in the regular-season series with Notre Dame.
Morgan Willoughby, who was recently named the league’s third star for the month of February, has three points in the first two games and has taken on even more ice time in the absence of Brooke Hobson who is still on the mend after suffering an injury while playing for Team Lakeland at the Saskatchewan Winter Games. The 14-year-old Hobson will likely remain on the sidelines for tonight’s game and for any other matches in the opening round, should the series be extended beyond tonight.
Another stalwart for the Bears has been netminder Jessica Vance. The 16-year-old Vance has stopped 68 of 71 shots for a 1.32 goals-against average in the post season. Vance set a new mark for minutes played during the regular season and equalled a pair of other standards with 12 career shutouts and 71 appearances. She is also sitting in third place in wins with 35 and trails the leader by just a pair in that category.
Should Prince Albert win on Thursday they will go on to meet the Weyburn Gold Wings in the next round while the defending league-champion Regina Rebels will square off against the Swift Current Wildcats. All three of the confimed semifinalists advanced in the minimum three games in the opening round. If Notre Dame pulls through and extends the series Game 4 will be played on Saturday in Wilcox.